Morris, Michael

Global Practice on Agriculture
Profile Picture
Author Name Variants
Fields of Specialization
Agricultural development, Agricultural policy, Agricultural innovation systems
Global Practice on Agriculture
Externally Hosted Work
Contact Information
Last updated January 31, 2023
Michael Morris is a Lead Agricultural Economist with the World Bank, where he manages lending operations, conducts research, and provides technical assistance. He has co-authored World Bank flagship publications on fertilizer policy, agricultural commercialization, and drylands development, and he contributed to the 2008 World Development Report Agriculture for Development. His areas of expertise include agricultural policy, farm-level productivity enhancement, marketing systems and value chain development, agricultural research and technology transfer, institutional strengthening, and capacity building. Prior to joining the World Bank in 2004, he served for three years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Sierra Leone; conducted dissertation research for two years in Senegal; and spent 16 years in Mexico, Thailand, and Washington with the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

Publication Search Results

Now showing 1 - 3 of 3
  • Thumbnail Image
    Awakening Africa’s Sleeping Giant : Prospects for Commercial Agriculture in the Guinea Savannah Zone and Beyond
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2009-06) Morris, Michael ; Larson, Gunnar
    Stimulating agricultural growth is critical to reducing poverty in Africa. Commercial agriculture, potentially a powerful driver of agricultural growth, can develop along a number of pathways. Yet many developing regions have failed to progress very far along any of these pathways. Particularly in Africa, agriculture continues to lag. During the past 30 years the competitiveness of many African export crops has declined, and Africa's dependence on imported food crops has increased. While the poor performance of African agriculture can be attributed partly to adverse agroecological conditions, experience from elsewhere in the developing world suggests that significant progress is possible. The Guinea Savannah covers some 600 million hectares in Africa, of which about 400 million can be used for agriculture. Less than ten percent of this area is currently cropped, making it one of the largest underused agricultural land reserves in the world.
  • Thumbnail Image
    Fertilizer Use in African Agriculture : Lessons Learned and Good Practice Guidelines
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2007) Morris, Michael ; Kelly, Valerie A. ; Kopicki, Ron J. ; Byerlee, Derek
    In every region of the world, the intensification of crop-based agriculture has been associated with a sharp increase in the use of chemical fertilizer. Given the generally low levels of fertilizer use in Africa, there can be little doubt that fertilizer use must increase in Africa if the region is to meet its agricultural growth targets, poverty reduction goals, and environmental sustainability objectives. For this reason, policies and programs are needed to encourage fertilizer use in ways that are technically efficient, economically rational, and market-friendly. Including this introduction, this report contains eight chapters. Chapter 2 sets the stage by discussing agriculture's role in the overall economic development process and explaining why agricultural development often leads to patterns of growth that are strongly pro-poor. Chapter 3 briefly recounts the history of fertilizer promotion efforts in Africa. Chapter 4 outlines the reasons for low fertilizer use in Africa. Chapter 5 examines factors that influence fertilizer demand and identifies entry points at which public interventions can strengthen effective demand at the farm level. Chapter 6 examines the factors that determine the supply of fertilizer and identifies entry points for public interventions to improve fertilizer supply. Chapter 7 identifies potential entry points at which public investments may be effective for fostering desirable change in a country's fertilizer sector. Chapter 8 summarizes the main points made in the report and concludes the discussion.
  • Thumbnail Image
    Agriculture Productivity Growth in Brazil: Recent Trends and Future Prospects
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2017-09-24) Arias, Diego ; Vieira, Pedro Abel ; Contini, Elisio ; Farinelli, Barbara ; Morris, Michael
    This report explains about the agriculture productivity growth in Brazil.Agriculture has been an island of success in terms of productivity growth in the last decades compared to other sectors of the Brazilian economy and compared to other country’s agriculture sector.Agriculture productivity growth in recent decades in Brazil has been mainly driven by investments in agriculture innovation, facilitation of sector financing, and trade liberalization. Trade liberalization has shown to be an important factor in the growth of agriculture productivity in recent decades, which can serve as an important experience for other Brazilian economic sectors that remain relatively close to trade. Agriculture productivity has room to grow further, improving productivity of lagging mid-size farmers and regions, reforming agriculture policies towards agriculture financing, agrologistics, and research and development(R&D).Experience within Brazil shows that agriculture productivity can continue to grow without depleting natural capital nor further increasing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Unlike the structural economic transformation of other countries, Brazilian agriculture productivity growth has been a net job creator. Agriculture productivity growth in Brazil can therefore continue its positive upward trend, while being environmentally sustainable, creating jobs, and increasing incomes for the rural poor.The motivation for this report is to explore the evolution and source of the strong agriculture productivity growth that has occurred in Brazil in recent decades, identifying opportunities and challenges for future development of the sector. The goal is to look for opportunities to accelerate agriculture productivity growth, to have an increased impact on sector growth, jobs, environmental sustainability, and poverty reduction, as well as potentially to shed light on lessons that can contribute to efforts to boost productivity in other sectors within Brazil. The report is divided into five sections. Following this introduction, Section two describes the evolution and sources of agriculture productivity growth in recent years; Section three evaluates the contributions of different factors of production, such as natural, human and physical capital; Section four explores the opportunities for further maximizing agriculture growth in Brazil through increases in productivity; and Section five presents conclusions and policy recommendations on how to further maximize agriculture productivity in Brazil while having positive social (poverty reduction and jobs) and environmental impacts.