Science and Poverty: An Interdisciplinary Assessment of the Impact of Agricultural Research

TR Number



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Washington, D.C.: International Food Policy Research Institute


In the past, agricultural research has tended to focus on increasing food yields in irrigated and high-potential agricultural areas. However, many poor people live in marginal agricultural areas or do not have access to the resources such as land, water, and capital that would enable them to utilize new agricultural technologies. Adoption of agricultural innovations by indigent farmers also is often influenced by various social and cultural factors. To help the poor, future agricultural research should focus on crops that the poor utilize most and take into account the social, cultural, and economic factors that will determine whether an agricultural innovation will be adopted by the target group. This report examines seven case studies of linkages between agricultural research and poverty from different areas in the developing world, and presents the lessons learned.



Food security, Poverty, Economic policy, Agriculture, Agricultural research, Income, Innovation adaptation, Agricultural development, Economic development, Technology transfer, Ecosystem Field Scale Governance