Dec 19, 2014 by Kate Sebastian

HarvestChoice is all over the newly published, Atlas of African Agriculture Research & Development. The atlas highlights the ubiquitous nature of smallholder agriculture in Africa; the many factors shaping the location, nature, and performance of agricultural enterprises; and the strong inter-dependencies among farming, natural resource stocks and flows, rural infrastructure, and the well-being of the poor.

Jul 23, 2013 by Cindy Cox

Dr. Maction Komwa from George Mason University is a visiting scientist at HarvestChoice, IFPRI. The team recently sat down with Maction and discussed his research looking into labor constraints in African agriculture. The results are this blog post describing some of his findings and an upcoming inclusion in HarvestChoice’s flagship study on agricultural constraints in sub-Saharan Africa.

Apr 12, 2013 by Jason Beddow

Stem rust is a potentially devastating fungal disease that can kill wheat plants and small grain cereals, but more typically reduces foliage, root growth, and grain yields. The pathogen multiplies rapidly, and its spores can be dispersed by wind over thousands of kilometers.

Photo credit: CIMMYT

Jun 25, 2012 by Cindy Cox

A group of researchers from the University of Nebraska and Wageningen University are setting out to determine just that through the production of an atlas.

Our colleague and supporter Prabhu Pingali, Deputy Director of the Agriculture Development Division of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, delivered this seminar the other day at IFPRI.

Coming up in December, I'll be honored to give the keynote address at the Field Crops Rust Symposium in San Antonio. Crop rust – wheat stem rust, in particular – is a topic we’ve spent a lot of time with in recent years, and we’re making fresh progress (see this recent paper) toward mapping and understanding the threat both in Africa and here in the U.S.

Last month I was honored to visit Stanford as a featured speaker at their Global Food Policy and Food Security Symposium Series. I shared the bill with Prabhu Pingali, Deputy Director for Agriculture Development at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, who has been critical to helping guide and advance our work at HarvestChoice.

Recent spikes in global food prices have garnered much attention, as they did when prices spiked in the early 1970s. But much less policy attention has been placed on the longer-run trends in commodity prices.

Federal and state investments in agricultural research have consistently generated very high social rates of return. Surveys of the hundreds of studies quantifying the returns from agricultural research suggest rates of return in the range of 40–60 percent per year. Our recent work reconfirms that US public investment in agricultural research and development (R&D) has paid off handsomely, with benefit-cost ratios of 20:1 and higher. Nevertheless, for many reasons funding for research targeted at agricultural productivity has stagnated since the early 1980s.

Last year, my HarvestChoice cofounder Stanley Wood and I had the honor of joining in a set of workshops focused on two critical issues.