Information about new agricultural technologies can help farmers make informed decisions about which ones to adopt. However, research shows that current information dissemination strategies do not always reach all farmers, nor are the recommendations always actionable or profitable. An updated J-PAL Policy Insight of 41 randomized evaluations shows that the content, frequency, and channel by which information is disseminated plays an important role in farmers’ decisions to adopt a new agricultural technology or practice.

Please join Professor Craig McIntosh (UC San Diego; J-PAL Agriculture sector Co-Chair) and Niriksha Shetty (Chief Executive Officer, Precision Development (PxD)) for a discussion on strategies for improving and scaling agricultural information and extension services in low- and middle-income countries. Specifically, Craig McIntosh will present evidence from the Policy Insight and concrete strategies to cost-effectively reach more farmers and tailor information to help farmers make optimal production decisions and investments. Niriksha Shetty will discuss PxD’s strategy for scaling rigorously-tested, evidence-informed agricultural extension programs and lessons learned from their practical experience in India.

Niriksha Shetty

Niriksha Shetty serves as PxD’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Niriksha has been at PxD since its inception, holding several strategic positions. As India’s Country Director, Niriksha led the smooth transition of two programs from PxD to government management, ensuring the long-term sustainability of these programs – demonstrating her ability to collaborate and navigate complex stakeholder environments effectively. As Chief Program Officer, she spearheaded program management and service delivery initiatives in these capacities, leveraging technology, data science, and behavioral economics to support over 7 million farmers across South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. Prior to PxD, Niriksha worked at LEAD at Krea University, formerly known as Center for Microfinance, and J-PAL South Asia. Niriksha holds a Master’s in Public Administration in International Development from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics (with honors) and Mathematics from Franklin and Marshall College.


Craig McIntosh

Craig McIntosh is a professor of economics in the School of Global Policy and Strategy at the University of California, San Diego. He is a development economist whose work focuses on the evaluation of programs intended to contribute to the financial livelihoods of poor households. He has worked on randomized evaluations of credit, savings, and insurance programs, as well as cash transfer and entrepreneurship investment projects in sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and South Asia. Craig earned his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. In addition to serving as Co-Chair of J-PAL’s Agriculture Sector, Craig serves on the review board of J-PAL and CEGA’s Agricultural Technology Adoption Initiative.


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