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Innovation in Research and Delivery

AgResults is an initiative to enhance smallholder welfare and improve food security for the poor and vulnerable through the use of "pull mechanisms" in agriculture. Pull mechanisms are results-based financial incentives rewarding successful innovations and their adoption. They are designed to overcome market failures, and encourage private and public sector innovators to develop products and services that they would not otherwise bring to the market. Well-crafted pull mechanisms (PDF) can be used to close the gap between the demand for socially desirable goods and services and their supply by the private sector in developing countries.

The idea of applying “pull mechanisms” in agriculture was launched at the June 2010 G20 summit in Toronto, where leaders committed to finding incentives to harness the private sector for agricultural innovation. In order to investigate these mechanisms further, Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are collaborating with like-minded donors, supported by World Bank staff through the scoping phase.

Through October 2011, the World Bank has solicited 38 pull mechanism ideas from 24 experts in four Thematic Groups focused on in the areas of (1) Inputs/Increasing Yields, (2) Outputs/Post-harvest Management, (3) Livestock, and (4) Nutrition (see below). An Expert Advisory Group (PDF) has recommended a number of those ideas for donor funding.

AgResults officially launched at the G20 Summit in Los Cabos, Mexico, on June 18, 2012. The name of the initiative was changed from Agricultural Pull Mechanism, or AGPM, to AgResults at that time.

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  • Inputs

    This Thematic Group focused on pilot ideas that would overcome market failures that contribute to low yields compared to their developed country counterparts. For example, average cereal yields in Africa are only 1.2 tons/hectare, whereas cereal yields in developed countries are on average 5.1 tons/hectare. This Thematic Group generated ten pilot ideas for pull mechanisms to spur sustainable markets that could help to close the yield gap.
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  • Outputs
    post harvest

    Thematic Group 2 generated eleven pilot ideas that could address the problem of output management and the problem of high post-harvest losses (around 10-15%) in particular. Farmers in developing countries need access to sustainable markets for better crop management techniques to limit losses and take advantage of market opportunities thanks to accessible and affordable storage.
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    Thematic Group 3 developed six pilot ideas for the livestock area. About 70% of the world’s “extreme poor” depend on livestock for their livelihoods. Livestock are not only an important source of income for smallholder farmers but also a critical source of nutrition, accounting for 15% of total human food energy and 25% of dietary protein. Pull mechanism ideas aim at creating sustainable markets for more profitable and more resilient livestock holders.
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    Thematic Group 4 generated 11 pilot ideas in the nutrition area. More than 20 million children are severely malnourished globally; another 165 million are moderately malnourished. Nearly one billion people suffer from micronutrient deficiencies (lack of vitamins and minerals, sometimes referred to as “hidden hunger”). Ideas for pull mechanism pilots seek to overcome market failures for micronutrients and other vital products that could enhance the nutritional status of millions of people through sustainable markets.
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