Ten-Year Testimonials: Michael Carter
As part of the Agrilinks 10-year anniversary, we are celebrating with testimonials from some of our top users. Read on to hear from Michael Carter, distinguished professor of agricultural and resource economics at UC Davis. The following is a transcript of a 10-year anniversary video series. The full video can be played at the bottom of the page.
Hello, I’m Michael Carter, distinguished professor of agricultural and resource economics here at University of California Davis, where I direct the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Markets, Risk and Resilience. We’ve been working with Agrilinks for at least five or six years. We’ve had over 31 items posted on Agrilinks and we’ve hosted two or three webinars, thanks to Agrilinks.
Agrilinks has been a great help to us. As academics, and especially as economists, we’re very good at communicating with our own type, often using obscure language that most people find draining, if not downright impenetrable. However, Agrilinks is good because it demands of us a clear definition of the problem, a clear definition of the solution in ways that are concise and understood by people who may not speak the magic language of economists.
As we look forward over the next few years, I think some of the biggest challenges we face are related to climate change. Climate change is accelerating. It’s getting worse. There aren’t any climate change deniers in agriculture as far as I can tell. At the same time, even though this problem is worsening, we now have better tools that can help farm families manage their climate-related risk that make them more resilient to climate-related predictable shocks like extreme drought.
We’ve also learned that when families are better protected from losing their crops or their livestock to climate risk, they tend to invest more in growing larger or more profitable crops that ultimately can raise their income. This is what we call resilience plus. That is, if you can help a family improve to become resilient, then they can actually radically change their behaviors in ways that improve their standard of living and, in many instances, can put them on a pathway out of poverty.
As we look forward in trying to improve food security around the globe over the next 10 years, what might we do? What might we hope to see?
We know, because of the accelerating climate change, that governments, households, families, communities are going to need better tools to help them manage climate-related risk. These include financial innovations, something that we work on a lot here at our innovation lab; but it also includes agricultural innovations, like stress-tolerant seed varieties.
Agrilinks is the place that we will continue to look for, as we devise new solutions, as we test their efficacy, Agrilinks will be the place we look for to help get that information out into the hands of those who can put it to the very best use.
So happy 10th birthday, happy 10th anniversary, Agrilinks! It’s been wonderful working with you, and on behalf of my innovation lab and myself, we very much look forward to continuing our partnership.