The Risk Farmers

Southern Africa 2016

By Robert Smith

September 07, 2016

Also aired on NPR

We recently visited a man who may be the best apple farmer in Lesotho. He wanted to expand his business — but he was wary of going all-in on apples.

This is a common issue in the developing world: Farmers don't grow enough of the things they're best at growing.

Why not?

Two economists — who work across the hall from each other, and who have devoted their careers to studying ways to help the poor — came up with very different answers to that question. And they decided to figure out who was right.

Robert Smith reported from Lesotho on a fellowship with the International Reporting Project (IRP).

Music: "The Best Around" and "Rise and Fall."