Agricultural Development

More than two-thirds of the world’s rural poor rely on agriculture as the primary source of income and employment (Food and Agriculture Organization 2009). What form should an agriculture-oriented strategy take? How can agricultural productivity be improved and what are the welfare gains from doing so?

Diffusion of Modern Seed Varieties across the Developing World

This project (joint work with Prabhat Barnwal, Jan von der Goltz, Ram Fishman, Gordon C. McCord and Nathan Mueller) aims to conduct a comprehensive study of the economic, demographic and health impacts of modern seed varieties that have spurred a “Green Revolution” in low- and middle-income countries since the 1960s. Currently, most research is focussed on country case studies and few empirically rigorous studies have attempted to quantify the broader effects of adopting agricultural technology in rural areas.

Role of Irrigation in History

Around 90 percent of the land in Africa is rainfed and yet the debate on an African green revolution predominantly focuses on adoption of modern seed varieties. A recent review by the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) noted that irrigation and water management are under-researched areas; and the present study is a modest attempt to contribute to fill this gap in the literature. It aims to evaluate the impact of irrigation policies using a combination of historical archives and geospatial satellite data.

Groundwater Depletion in India

What are the trends in depths of water tables? Do farmers face a groundwater constraint? How do they respond to falling water tables? This project examines short run consequences of falling water tables in India.