Before joining IFPRI in 1992 as a Research Fellow, Dr. Babu was a Research Economist at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York. Between 1989 and 1994 he spent 5 years in Malawi, Southern Africa on various capacities. He was Senior Food Policy Advisor to the Malawi Ministry of Agriculture on developing a national level Food and Nutrition Information System; an Evaluation Economist for the UNICEF-Malawi working on designing food and nutrition intervention programs; Coordinator of UNICEF/IFPRI food security program in Malawi; and a Senior Lecturer at the Bunda College of Agriculture, Malawi developing and teaching computer-based policy-oriented post graduate courses.
He has been coordinator of IFPRI’s South Asia Initiative and Central Asia Program. His past research covers a wide range of developmental issues including economics of soil fertility, famine prevention, market integration, migration, pesticide pollution, groundwater depletion, gender bias, and nutrition policy. He has published more than 16 books and monographs and 80 peer reviewed journal papers. He has been on the advisory board of World Agricultural Forum. He was a Coordinating Lead Author of Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. He currently conducts research on issues related to Capacity Development including Economic Analysis of Extension and Advisory Services; Reorganization of National Research Systems; Understanding Policy Process; and Institutional Innovations for Agricultural Transformation. He is or has been a Visiting as Honorary Professor of Indira Gandhi National Open University, India, American University, Washington DC, University of Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa, and Zhejiang University, China. He currently serves or has served on the editorial boards of the following journals – Food Security, Food and Nutrition Bulletin, Agricultural Economics Research Review, African Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Journal of Sustainable Development and African Journal of Food, Nutrition and Development.
Dr. Babu was educated at Agricultural Universities in Tamil Nadu, India (B.S. Agriculture; M.S. Agriculture) and at Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa (M.S. Economics and PhD Economics).
- Program Leader of IFPRI's Learning and Capacity Strengthening Program and South Asia Initiative coordination
- Member of Board of Advisors, World Agriculture Forum, Scientific Committee of Southern Africa Food Policy Network, Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, and IUCN's Commission on Ecosystem management, African Capacity Building Foundation.