Morris, Michael

Global Practice on Agriculture
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Agricultural development, Agricultural policy, Agricultural innovation systems
Global Practice on Agriculture
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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 - 4 of 4
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    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.
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    Future Foodscapes: Re-imagining Agriculture in Latin America and the Caribbean
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-11) Morris, Michael ; Sebastian, Ashwini Rekha ; Perego, Viviana Maria Eugenia
    Agriculture and food systems in Latin America and the Caribbean Region (LAC) are rightfully recognized as among the most successful on the planet: they have fed a fast-growing population, facilitated economic development, enabled urbanization, generated substantial exports, and helped drive down global hunger and poverty. Yet despite these significant contributions, the public image of the region’s agriculture and food systems as dynamic, productive, and efficient reflectsonly part of a more complicated reality. The impressive achievements have come at the expense of significant environmental and health costs. LAC agriculture uses over one-third of the region’s land area, consumes nearly three-quarters of the region’s fresh water resources, and generates almost one-half of the region’s greenhouse gas emissions. And despite the consistent food production surpluses, millions of people in LAC regularly go hungry or suffer from malnutrition and related diseases. In short, the region’s successes in feeding the population and exporting food to the rest of the world are exacting high costs on people and on the environment.
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    Africa’s Growing Soil Fertility Crisis : What Role For Fertilizer?
    ( 2007-05) Agwe, Jonathan ; Morris, Michael ; Fernabdes, Erick
    Reversing Africa's decades-long decline in soil productivity levels poses a major challenge, and one that cannot be addressed without increased use of appropriate fertilizer nutrients. The 2006 World Bank Africa Fertilizer Strategy Assessment was undertaken to inform policy makers, providing them with guidelines on measures to effectively raise fertilizer use. This Note draws upon the material prepared for the above fertilizer strategy assessment, summarizes the information on the approaches to enhancing fertilizer supply and use in Africa, and identifies some future steps.
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    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.