Some research that I have recently been contributing to in Malawi suggests that incentives–particularly those that leverage network externalities–could accelerate the adoption of conservation agriculture practices. In the long run, a payments-for-ecosystem services program could create exactly the sort of feedback loop that would be necessary for sustained adoption of these types of soil conservation measures.
I recently helped co-organize a high-level regional stakeholders’ dialogue to discuss the challenges and opportunities for providing agricultural insurance to farmers in South Asia. Specifically, the focus was on how we, as members of the agricultural research community, could better contribute tot the design, implementation, and evaluation of large scale agricultural insurance programs. Here is an IFPRI blog that describes the events and some of the main takeaways.