Archived Webinar

Digital Ag Series: Shining a Brighter Light - Data-driven Evidence on Adoption and Diffusion of Agriculture Innovations in Ethiopia

"Learn about the design and targeting of rural interventions to enhance the adoption of agricultural innovations."

The agricultural sector in Ethiopia has seen sustained growth in recent decades, hand-in-hand with economic growth and poverty reduction. Ethiopia is a hotspot of international agricultural research collaboration, with almost all of the centers of CGIAR being represented in Addis Ababa and working in partnership with the Ethiopian Institute for Agricultural Research. We identify 18 agricultural innovations that are potentially disseminated at scale and then integrate novel data collection approaches about them into the Ethiopian Socioeconomic Survey (ESS) in 2018/19. We show that in aggregate, there is substantial adoption of agricultural innovations among smallholders, poor households, and young and female farmers. Considering the diffusion of agricultural innovations one at a time, however, provides a different (and incomplete) picture, as different innovations reach different households and regions. The innovations we find to be most widely diffused (soil and water conservation practices; improved maize varieties; crossbred chickens) are closely linked to supportive government policies.

The webinar discusses implications for the design and targeting of rural interventions aiming to enhance the adoption of agricultural innovations. We'll propose to start by considering farmers as critical consumers who can be offered a portfolio of possible innovations to fit heterogeneous needs. The webinar also discusses what it takes to collect this kind of rich data on agricultural innovations, the importance of partnerships for better data, and introduces some frontier topics on measurement that have broad applicability for monitoring agricultural development projects.

About the Presenters

Martien Van Nieuwkoop

Global Director, Agriculture and Food Global Practice, The World Bank

Martien van Nieuwkoop, a Dutch national, was appointed Global Director for the Agriculture and Food Global Practice in the World Bank’s Sustainable Development Practice Group on July 1, 2019. As a Global Director, Martien provides leadership to the formulation and implementation of the Bank’s strategy and knowledge in agriculture and food, oversees the operationalization of the Bank’s vision on agriculture and food in regional and country programs, acts as a senior spokesperson for agriculture and food Bank-wide and globally and manages the Agriculture and Food Global Practice. The Agriculture and Food Global Practice has a portfolio of about 160 projects with close to US$ 20 billion in commitments in the investment projects, program-for-results, and development policy lending, and about 250 staff members. Before taking this position, Martien served for two years as Practice Director of the World Bank’s Agriculture Global Practice, where he oversaw the Bank’s agriculture lending, portfolio, and analytic work in the East-Asia Pacific, Latin-America and the Caribbean and South Asia Regions, coordinated collaboration with IFC on agribusiness, and led the Bank’s global engagement on agriculture and climate change. Martien joined the World Bank in 1993 as a Young Professional and worked initially as an agriculture economist in the Latin-America and Caribbean Region. He was cluster leader covering agriculture during field assignments in Madagascar from 2001-2004 and in India from 2005-2007. From 2007 to 2015 Martien worked as Program Coordinator and Sector Manager for Agriculture in various assignments in the Africa Region, including covering Southern and West-Africa. He was also the Practice Manager for Agriculture in the South-Asia Region, a position he held from 2015-2017. Prior to joining the Bank, Martien was an associate scientist in the Economics Program of the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center in Mexico from 1991-1993 and an associate expert in the Dutch bilateral cooperation program in Pakistan from 1989-1991. Martien holds a Final ("Doctoral") Examination (Cum Laude), Development Economics from Wageningen Agricultural University, Wageningen, the Netherlands, and an MBA (Beta-Gamma-Sigma), International Executive Program from Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., USA. He grew up on a family-owned horticulture farm in Gouda, The Netherlands.

Karen Macours

Chaired Paris School of Economics Professor, Research Director INRAE; Chair, SPIA (Standing Panel on Impact Assessment), CGIAR

Karen Macours is a chaired professor at the Paris School of Economics (PSE), and senior researcher (directrice de recherche) at the French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment (INRAE). Her research focuses on agricultural productivity and rural poverty reduction in developing countries, impact assessment related to agricultural R&D, the evaluation of programs addressing households’ productive and human capital investments, and related measurement and methodological questions. She is the chair of the Standing Panel on Impact Assessment of CGIAR, co-editor of the Journal of Development Economics, and co-chair of the JPAL health sector. She previously was an associate professor of international economics at SAIS-Johns Hopkins University and received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.

Dr. Feto Esimo

Director-General, Ethiopian Institute for Agricultural Research

Dr. Feto Esimo Berisso is the Director-General of the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR), assuming the position in July 2020 to guide the development and implementation of the strategic plan for an institute with more than 5000 staff in research and support positions. He was previously the Director-General of the Oromia Agricultural Research Institute and held a series of academic positions at Hawassa University. Feto holds a Ph.D. in Soil Physics and Hydropedology (the intersection of soil science and hydrology) from Aarhus University in Denmark.

Gero Carletto

Manager, Development Data Group, The World Bank 

Calogero (Gero) Carletto is the Manager of the Data Production and Methods Unit in the Development Data Group at the World Bank.  He leads the Living Standards Measurement Study (LSMS), the flagship household survey program at the World Bank. In 2015, he founded and directed the Center for Development Data - a hub dedicated to fostering methodological innovation and strengthening countries’ capacity in household and farm surveys.  The Center hosts the 50x2030: Data Smart Agriculture program, a multi-partner initiative aimed at closing data gaps in agriculture. In the past, he has worked for the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), and other UN agencies. Gero has published dozens of scholarly articles on various topics ranging from poverty, food security, agriculture, and rural development, as well as data collection methods and data measurement issues. Gero holds a Ph.D. in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of California, Berkeley.

Vikas Choudhary

Senior Economist, Agriculture, and Food Global Practice, The World Bank 
Vikas Choudhary is a Senior Economist and Team Leader for Agriculture at the World Bank and is based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Previously, he managed the operations for the Agricultural Risk Management Team. Prior to joining the Bank, he was the Director, Global Economic Development at the Centre of High Impact Philanthropy at the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn). He started his career with the Government of Rajasthan, India, and subsequently worked with CARE-India; set up a USAID agribusiness project; and co-founded a felt export business. He holds a Ph.D. in Development Anthropology and a Masters in Public Administration from Syracuse University, USA, and has a Management degree from the Indian Institute of Forestry Management, India.

Questions Submitted

jose luis

- Aug 2, 2022
muy bueno

Mahaman Mourtala

- Jun 30, 2022


- Nov 28, 2021


- May 15, 2021

Lynn Ioana

- Apr 25, 2021
innovative talks, interesting


- Feb 27, 2021


- Feb 12, 2021

Joy Mildred Adhiambo

- Feb 10, 2021
Great series


- Feb 10, 2021
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