World Agriculture Watch

There is a long-running debate on the merits of various agricultural transformation models. Conflicting views arise on small-scale versus large-scale production structures and on family (or “peasant”) farming compared with industrial farming. Sometimes, the debate is driven by ideological views, obviously the lack of evidence limit the outreach of the debate. One of the objectives of the Observatory of World Agriculture is to fill this gap by bringing evidence to the table for policy debate.

Opinions section will present inspiring ideas and views in relevant fields to bring additional perspectives into this greatly interesting debate.

These two articles below illustrate that data is of great importance since one cannot measure anything when it is not precisely defined and much-needed empirical evidence is absent. It also implies how WAW could bridge the gap by providing a new harmonized set of tools to generate and analyse data with the perspective of identifying, numbering and characterizing the family farms, and measuring their contributions to the diverse dimensions of sustainable development. WAW will also provide – whenever available – data on large-scale corporate units.


Without its Own Data, Africa is Doomed to Remain in the Dark

Without reliable information, an efficient development policy is not possible. These statistics are essential for a good allocation of resources and a rigorous evaluation of public policies outcomes.

Why Economics Needs Data

Thomas Piketty of the Paris School of Economics and James Heckman of the University of Chicago tell The CORE Project why observed data must be the starting point for economists.