Transforming Agriculture in Africa & Asia: What are the policy priorities?

By Kieran McDougal and Carin Smaller, published by IISD and International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), October 2018

This report uses a first-of-its kind analytical framework that tracks the performance of 117 countries over 45 years to understand which policies have succeeded or failed. It concludes that agricultural transformation takes off when countries remove price policies that penalize agriculture. It also finds that public investment in research, extension services, electricity and irrigation are important, but the quality of those services can matter more than the quantity. Another conclusion is that land reforms, research institutions and improving access to credit are also critical, but ultimately no country succeeds without a combination of policies and public investments that complement each other. The key finding of the report is that successfully eradicating poverty through agriculture depends on whether a country has enough agricultural land, how fertile it is, and the demographic pressures. Available at