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Policies, Institutions and Markets (PIM)

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Policies, Institutions and Markets (PIM)

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Poverty and hunger are enormous problems. Nearly 1 billion people in the world go hungry, and more than 1 billion live on just $1.25 a day. Seventy-five percent of the poor live in rural areas, and the majority of them depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. Food prices are high and rising—a situation that points to continued challenges in food security in the coming years.

Despite global efforts to overcome these problems, one of the most promising tools for promoting development and reducing poverty—pro-poor, sustainable agricultural growth, particularly for small producers—has been under-exploited. Evidence shows that agricultural growth reduces poverty by twice the rate of growth in non-agricultural sectors, but this growth has been held back by failures related to policies, institutions, and markets, and will be further challenged by emerging trends such as climate change and natural resource scarcity.

Agricultural growth has also been constrained by a narrow focus on agriculture that excludes macroeconomic dimensions, environmental inputs and outcomes, and important enabling conditions, such as rural infrastructure, effective markets, and complementary services like credit and agricultural extension.

The CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM) makes a critical contribution by establishing how these challenges and failures can be overcome so that policies, institutions, and markets can be used most effectively to reduce poverty, improve food security, and increase the incomes of small producers.

Under business as usual, projected growth in agricultural productivity in the next two decades is unlikely to meet effective demand for food without significant price increases. Small agricultural producers face enormous challenges, but they also have great potential to feed the world—if they can get access to the inputs, technologies, markets, and public services they need.

The adoption of evidence-based policies, inclusive institutions, and equitable and efficient markets—based on sound and cutting-edge research focused on the complex agricultural development process—can help achieve this goal.  PIM addresses this challenge by producing a body of knowledge to support pro-poor agricultural growth.

PIM research is organized around five main topics or “flagships:

FP1: Technological Innovation and Sustainable Intensification
FP2: Agricultural Growth and Transformation at the National Level
FP3: Inclusive Value Chains and Efficient Trade
FP4: Improved Social Protection for Vulnerable Populations
FP5: Property Rights Regimes for Management of Natural Resources and Assets

From the CGIAR and PIM websites.


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  • Improved prioritization of global agricultural research effort for developing countries
  • More investment in agricultural research and higher rate of return to research
  • Increased adoption of superior technologies and management practices in relevant domains of application
  • Policies and public spending that facilitate pro-poor growth, job creation and agricultural and rural development
  • Value chains with lower transaction costs and increased inclusion of smallholders and provision of benefits to both women and men
  • Improved design and coverage of social protection programs with particular emphasis on vulnerable rural populations
  • Improved policies and program implementation that increase security of rights to natural resources and assets for women and the poor