Articles by Jeffrey Sachs

Topic: Agriculture

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2013

"A General Equilibrium Model for Analyzing African Rural Subsistence Economies and an African Green Revolution," with John W. McArthur, Brookings Africa Growth Initiative Working Paper 12, June 2013.

2012

"Tackling Extreme Rural Poverty in Northern Ghana," Huffington Post, August 28, 2012. Download as [PDF]

The push for a “Green Revolution” in African agriculture has boosted crop yields as much as three-fold and helped reduce hunger for about 20 million rural Africans. But the remarkable effort has yet to reach 250 million rural people who remain malnourished in rural Sub-Saharan regions.

Now, two new programs in Ethiopia and Tanzania will adapt modern technology such as an innovative “lab-in-a-box,” smartphones and web-based communications linked to digital soil mapping, along with intensive training for agricultural extension workers, to broaden the reach of that “Green Revolution.”

The two collaborative projects are being funded by grants from the DuPont and  Monsanto companies, announced Friday, which will strengthen the work of researchers from the Tropical Agriculture and Rural Environment Program at the Earth Institute, Columbia University, in cooperation with agricultural agencies in the two countries and several other partners.

“This is the beginning of very effective relationship between our university, our African partners, and two leading private sector companies who are committed to address food security in Africa,” Pedro Sanchez, director of the Tropical Agriculture Program, said. “These two leading seed companies recognize that without precise information on how to replenish the fertility of African soils, improved seeds of all crops will not reach their potential.”

The Earth Institute and its partners have played a major role in combating hunger in Africa since 2004, when then-UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan called for “a uniquely African Green Revolution.” Sanchez and others working on the UN Millennium Project Task Force on Hunger released a report the following year making recommendations they said could reduce hunger by half by 2015.

The Tropical Agriculture Program and its partners started the African Soil Information Service (AfSIS) in 2009 to develop a digital map of soil properties of the non-desert portions of Sub-Saharan Africa. Understanding nutrient levels, water retention and other properties of soils – and getting that information back to farmers in a timely way – is key to helping the region feed its people.

DuPont is contributing $1 million over three years for the agronomic dimension of the Tropical Agriculture project in Ethiopia.

Monsanto will contribute $400,000 for a similar project in Tanzania for the first year of a planned three-year effort – part of $50 million in grants the company has pledged to support agricultural development in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The Tropical Agriculture program is seeking support for similar work in Nigeria and Ghana, the two other countries where a second phase of the digital soil map project is planned.

“Developing this system will begin to overcome one of the major constraints currently faced in Africa that impedes the practical use of soils information,” the proposal states. “Crop yields will increase, decreasing hunger, improving nutrition, improving soil health and facilitating the use of improved varieties and hybrids.”

The system should help farmers determine optimal fertilizer blends in each area, and increase the productivity of hybrids for important crops such as maize that are designed to adapt to conditions in various regions.

The results of the project could be applied to other growing areas that have been stuck for years with low yields in Sub-Saharan Africa, Haiti and elsewhere.

The grant announcements coincide with a major new public-private initiative by the Obama administration to improve nutrition and help farmers in Africa build local markets and improve productivity. Among the private participants are DuPont and Monsanto and other companies, including nearly 20 from Africa.

"Sustainable Humanity," Project Syndicate, January 31, 2012. [Download as PDF]

2011

"Effective monitoring of agriculture: a response," Journal of Environmental Monitoring, December 20, 2011. [Download as PDF]

"Challenges at the Cutting Edge of Fighting Global Poverty," Huffington Post, December 4, 2011. [Download as PDF]

"Need Versus Greed," Project Syndicate, February 28, 2011. [Download as PDF]

"To end the food crisis, the G20 must keep a promise." Financial Times, February 18, 2011.

2010

"Monitoring the world's agriculture," with Roseline Remans et al., Nature, July 29, 2010. [Download as PDF]

"Educated women hold the key to ending poverty." The Independent. April 18, 2010. [Download as PDF]

2009

"Can we feed and save the planet?" Scientific American. December 2009. [Download as PDF]

"Transgressing Planetary Boundaries," Scientific American, December 2009. [Download as PDF]

"Digital Soil Map of the World." with Pedro A. Sanchez, Sonya Ahamed, Florence Carré, Alfred E. Hartemink, Jonathan Hempel, Jeroen Huising, Philippe Lagacherie, Alex B. McBratney, Neil J. McKenzie, Maria de Lourdes Mendonça-Santos, Budiman Minasny, Luca Montanarella, Peter Okoth, Cheryl A. Palm, Keith D. Shepherd, Tor-Gunnar Vågen, Bernard Vanlauwe, Markus G. Walsh, Leigh A. Winowiecki, Gan-Lin Zhang. Science. 7 August 2009.

"Still Needed: A Climate Plan", Scientific American, July 2009

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearings on
"The Case for Reform: Foreign Aid and Development in a New Era", 22 July 2009
[Download in PDF format]

"Aid Ironies." Huffington Post. 24 May 2009. [Download as PDF]

"Homegrown Aid." The New York Times. 8 April 2009. [Download as PDF]

"3 billion poor people need world's help." CNN.com. 20 March 2009. [Download as PDF]

"Input Subisidies to Improve Smallholder Maize Productivity in Malawi: Toward an African Green Revolution", with Glenn Denning, Patrick Kabambe, Pedro Sanchez, Alia Malik, Rafael Flor, Rebbie Harawa, Phelire Nkhoma, Colleen Zamba, Clement Banda, Chrispin Magombo, Michael Keating, and Justine Wangila. PLoS Biology, 7(1): e1000023. 27 January 2009. [Download article as PDF]

"Smallholder Food Production and Poverty Reduction: Principles for a Financial Coordination Mechanism to Support Smallholder Farmers." Ad Hoc Advisory Group to the Madrid Conference on Food Security,
Chaired by Prof. Jeffrey Sachs. IDEAS Foundation. 26 January 2009.
[Download as PDF]

2008

"Elite Education, Advanced Research and Innovation - Europe and the US in the Face of Challenges from the 'New World'" 8th Haniel Lecture, Duisburg, Germany, November 13, 2008
[Download in PDF format]

"The Specter of Malthus Returns." Scientific American. September 2008.

"Millennium Goals at the Midpoint." Scientific American. August 2008.

"The Millennium Development Goals: running out of excuses." G8 Summit 2008 publication. July 2008.
[Download as PDF]

"Land, Water and Conflict." Newsweek. July 2008. [Download as PDF]

"How to Solve the Growing Global Food Crisis, in Three Steps." NY Daily News. 23 July 2008. [Download as PDF]

"A User's Guide to the Century." The National Interest. 2 July 2008. [Download as PDF]

"The African Green Revolution." Scientific American. May 2008.

"How to Feed the World." Newsweek. 10 May 2008. [Download as PDF]

"Bhagwati and Sachs on the Food Crisis." International Herald Tribune. 7 May 2008. [Download as PDF]

2007

"Making Development Less Risky." Scientific American. August 2007. [Download as PDF]

"The Promise of the Blue Revolution." Scientific American. July 2007.
[Download as PDF]

"What a Little Fertilizer Can Do." Time. 26 July 2007.
[Download as PDF]

"How I'd fix the World Bank." Fortune. 26 June 2007.
[Download as PDF]

"How the Rich World can Help Africa Help Itself." Financial Times. 30 May 2007.
[Download as PDF]

"Rapid Victories Against Extreme Poverty," Scientific American. April 2007.
[Download as PDF]

"Africa's Lagging Demographic Transition: Evidence from Exogenous Impacts of Malaria Ecology and Agricultural Techonology," with Dalton Conley and Gordon C. McCord. NBER Working Paper 12892. February 2007.

[Download paper as PDF]

2006

"Virtuous Circles and Fragile States." Scientific American. August 2006.
[Download article as PDF]

"Investments Toward Sustainable Development," with Walter V. Reid. Science, Vol. 312. 19 May 2006.
[Download article as PDF]

"Aid Skeptics Thrive on Pessimism." Los Angeles Times. 7 May 2006.
[Download article as PDF]

2005

The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time, The Penguin Press: New York, 2005.

Investing in Development: A Practical Plan to Achieve the Millennium Development Goals, UN Millennium Project, (Director),  Earthscan: New York, 2005.

2005 U.N. World Summit Blog, Financial Times (online),  September 12-16, 2005.
[Download blog in PDF format]

"Why Aid Does Matter," BBC Online, 11 September 2005.
[Download article in PDF format]

"How Africa lit up the world," Sunday Times Magazine, July 3, 2005.
[Download article in PDF format]

"The end of the world as we know it," The Guardian, April 5, 2005.
[Download article in PDF format]

"The End of Poverty," Time, March 14, 2005.
[Download article in PDF format]

"What the President Doesn't Want to Hear," Esquire, February 2005.
[Download article in PDF format]

2004

“We Can End World Hunger: Here’s How,” with Pedro Sanchez, World Ark, November/ December 2004.
[Download article in PDF format]

"How to Halve World Poverty," The Economist -- The World in 2005, November 2004.
[Download article in PDF format]

"Ending World Hunger," Poder Magazine, October 2004.
[Download article in PDF format]

"Une révolution verte pour l'Afrique," with Pedro Sanchez, Le Monde, August 10, 2004.
[Download article in PDF format]

"Ending Africa' s Poverty Trap," with John W. McArthur, Guido Schmidt-Traub, Margaret Kruk, Chandrika Bahadur, Michael Faye and Gordon McCord, Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Issue 1, 2004.
[Download paper as PDF]

"The Challenges Facing Landlocked Developing Countries," with Michael L. Faye, John W. McArthur, and Thomas Snow, Journal of Human Development, Vol. 5, No. 1, March 2004.
[Download paper as PDF]
[Download Stata data file]
[Download Excel data file]

Touching the Rural Landscape,” with Nirupam Bajpai, The Hindu Business Line, 28 January 2004. [Download as PDF]

2001

"Tropical Underdevelopment," NBER Working Paper 8119.  February 2001.
[Download paper as PDF]
(based on speech prepared for Economic History Association Annual Meeting, September 2000 and CID Working Paper No. 57, December 2000)
[Download paper as PDF]

"The Best Possible Investment in Africa". New York Times. February 10, 2001. CIDNEWS. [Download as PDF]

2000

"Agriculture, Climate, and Technology: Why are the Tropics Falling Behind?" with John Luke Gallup, American Journal of Agricultural Economics.  Vol. 82, pp. 731-777, August 2000.
[Download paper as PDF]

1999

"Helping the World's Poorest." The Economist, August 1999. [Download as PDF]

0000

"Hitting the Target," with Guido Schmidt-Traub. Words into Action, IMF and World Bank Annual Meetings. September 2006.
[Download article as PDF]

"Breaking the Poverty Trap." Scientific American. September, 2007. [Download as PDF]

"The African Green Revolution," Scientific American, April 2008

"Progress summary of the MDGs: update for ministers." The Commonwealth Ministers Reference Book. June 2008.
[Download as PDF]

"Surging Food Prices and Global Stability." Scientific American. June 2008.

"Food For Thought." Economy Viewpoint, The Report - Senegal 2009. Oxford Business Group. April 2009.