A review of agricultural production risk in the developing world

Many of the poor in the developing world rely on agriculture for their livelihood. Unfortunately, agricultural production is inherently risky, which puts these farmers at risk of not being able to meet even their basic subsistence needs. Therefore, understanding these farmers’ attitudes towards and responses to production risk is an important piece of the puzzle for designing effective interventions to help them overcome poverty. The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the empirical literature that investigates farmers’ risk attitudes and responses to production risk in developing countries. Some attention is given to the implications of production risk for the uptake and use of new technologies. The paper also provides a review of the theoretical foundations that have guided the bulk of this research. Finally, the paper discusses several opportunities for furthering the knowledge gained to date.

Issue Date:
Jun 24 2010
Publication Type:
Working or Discussion Paper
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