Soil Variation and Why It Matters
Event Date: Jun 29, 2017
Time: 09:30 AM to 11:00 AM (GMT -4)
Location: United States
Online: Online Event
Crop yields in much of the developing world remain below potential, partly due to low adoption of profitable technologies such as improved seeds and fertilizer. Some contend the problem is that soils are not fertilizer responsive, so increased investment in these inputs will not contribute to growth and development objectives. However, an alternative interpretation is that interventions designed to promote increased fertilizer use often ignore distinct soil variation. Publicly supported generalized recommendations for fertilizer and seed varieties overlook differences in soil type, reducing the productivity gains and thus discouraging uptake. This suggests that customized fertilizer and seed packages reflecting soil-specific input needs may succeed where one-size-fits-all policies have failed. Three projects under the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Assets and Market Access are tackling this issue of soil variation with research in Kenya, Mexico and Tanzania.
Join our upcoming webinar where presenters will use these case studies to provide clear evidence of the need to target improved seed and fertilizer interventions tailored to reflect the variation in soils. Participants will learn about the importance of soil variability and the impact it has on agricultural development outcomes; engage with the research experts; and refer to the evidence provided to better design, validate, and improve future interventions.
Soil Variation and Why It Matters
Hope Michelson is an assistant professor in the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Michelson earned her PhD in Applied Economics at Cornell and completed a... more post-doctoral fellowship with the Agriculture and Food Security Center at Columbia. Her research in the developing world centers on relationships among agriculture, poverty, and market institutions. One specific interest is the evolving impact on small-scale farmers of new large-scale market systems for agricultural products. She has studied supermarket supply chains for fresh fruits and vegetables in China and Nicaragua and their implications for farmer participation and welfare. Other related key interests include interconnections among soil fertility, the use of agricultural inputs, and local and regional food security. Ongoing projects include an evaluation of the impact of soil testing and management recommendations with regard to farmer production decisions in Tanzania; a multi-year study of an integrated soil fertility management (ISFM) project and improved market access in Central Malawi; and research on agricultural inputs suppliers and mineral fertilizer quality in Eastern Tanzania. less
Carolina Corral holds a M.Sc. in Economics from Université de Montréal and has more than 10 years of experience in applied economic research and managing large projects in Latin America and Africa for Innovations for Poverty... more Action (IPA), Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), and Qué Funciona para el Desarrollo (QFD). Carolina has co-authored many research papers as part of a three-year agricultural project financed by FAO, USAID, and World Bank that investigates the impact of financial and knowledge barriers faced by smallholder maize farmers in Mexico on their technology adoption decisions. Carolina is the Country Director of Precision Agriculture for Development (PAD) Kenya, a non-profit organization with a mission to support smallholder farmers in developing countries by providing personalized agricultural advice through their mobile phones. less
Emilia Tjernström is an Assistant Professor of Public Affairs and Agricultural & Applied Economics at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. Her research draws on insights from behavioral economics and employs econometrics,... more field-, and lab-in-the-field experiments to study technology diffusion and the impact that heterogeneity has on the success and optimal design of public policy. She has interests in development economics, behavioral economics, political economy, and environmental and resource economics. She has ongoing projects in Fiji, Ghana, Kenya and Nicaragua. Tjernström earned her B.A. in economics from Colby College and her M.S. and Ph.D. from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of California, Davis. She received the 2015 Goldon A. King Award for Best Dissertation from all University of California-Davis Agricultural and Resource Economics PhD. dissertations filed in 2015. less
Michael R Carter is Professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of California, Davis and directs the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Assets and Market Access, the I4 Index Insurance Innovation Initiative,... more and the Global Action Network on agricultural insurance. His current research projects examine poverty dynamics and productive social safety nets, the impact of violence on aspirations and hope, evaluation of interventions to boost small farm uptake of improved technologies and feature a suite of projects that design, pilot and evaluate index insurance contracts as mechanisms to alleviate chronic poverty and deepen agricultural and rural financial markets. Carter is a fellow of the NBER (National Bureau of Economic Research), BREAD (Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development) and the American Agricultural Economics Association. A member of the Board of Directors of Oxfam America for many years, he currently serves on the board of the Grameen Foundation as well as on multiple scientific advisory boards. less