Message from the Director General

Photo of IFPRI Director General Shenggen FanOur work at IFPRI is increasingly collaborative, and one area of teamwork is our research on pro-poor value chains, featured in this issue of Insights. Value chains are garnering attention as a way of achieving broad development outcomes such as food security, poverty reduction, and sustainable use of natural resources.  A number of centers in the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) have been working for years on ways to strengthen value chains for the poor. Now much of this research is being brought into two major research programs that are pooling resources and expertise across the CGIAR. Among other things, these research programs will study how to help smallholder farmers break into food value chains, raise their incomes, and produce safe, healthy, and nutritious food for consumers.

I hope this story, as well as the other exciting on-the-ground research highlighted in this issue, inspires a new way of thinking about agricultural development as a hub of innovation and synergy. As always, we welcome your thoughts and comments.
— Shenggen Fan, Director General

In This Issue

Building Bigger Dreams

Can we improve people’s well-being by raising their aspirations?

Into the Spotlight

The grain teff has been consumed as a staple in Ethiopia for centuries but is little known outside the country. Now, researchers are training their attention on this understudied crop.

Untangling the Asian Enigma

Although South Asia has the highest concentration of undernutrition in the world, in the past two decades Bangladesh and Nepal have both achieved striking improvements in the nutrition of their citizens. How did they do it?

Does Money Talk?

FEATURE: Millions of poor people around the world are enrolled in safety net programs that hand out cash or food. What’s the best way to design these transfer programs?