Dr. Adam Abramson

Research Group Leader
Research Interests:

Digital & ICT for Agriculture

A "moonshot" challenge that I'm working on is how to unlock the potential for big data in agriculture through digital platforms and crowdsourcing. With unprecedented computing power and machine learning tools available, technical capability is no longer the major limiting factor to enabling customized, data-driven decision-making for farmers. Rather, it is the ability to get useful and reliable agricultural data at scale. Farmers are often wary of sharing data that would be useful for such applications. What incentivizes farmers to share data? What data-driven services can create a positive feedback loop and overcome the chicken-and-egg problem common in digital platforms seeking to reach "big data" scale in order to deliver valuable services? 

Agriculture, the Environment and Farmers

What is the relationship between agricultural production and environmental health (soil, water, air, etc). How much do environmental considerations shape farmer decisions? Do emerging incentives such as carbon credits impact farmer behavior and encourage adoption of nature-based practices?

My research uses multidisciplinary approaches to solve problems in the farm-food-environment nexus. I use tools from agricultural, environmental and development economics to explore technology adoption, the impact of agriculture on the environment, and the potential of digital technologies to accelerate development, especially in the agriculture sector. 

I have worked on solving drinking water challenges in rural Zambia, environmental pollution of two transboundary Israeli-Palestinian waterways, and marketing and advisory challenges among smallholder farmers in Zimbabwe, Kenya, Rwanda and elsewhere.





Host, the Feeding Adam Podcast 
This weekly podcast is about food, farming and our unending search for Eden. I talk to experts in regenerative agriculture, homesteading and agtech to explore solutions and trends in global food production.

Board Member, Harvard Alumni for Agriculture and Food 
I help with outreach and networking activities for the group's 2,000+ alumni members in the agriculture and food sector. 


7/2018 - 10/2022, Business Development, Precision Development

PxD is a fast-growing non-profit based out of Profs. Michael Kremer and Shawn Cole's original research operating in 10 developing countries, working to deliver information, such as high-quality agronomic advice, to millions of smallholder farmers through mobile phones. 

1/2017 - 4/2020, CEO & Founder, Farmster

Farmster is a digital platform that links smallholder farmers with local buyers of produce, without requiring internet access. Using an SMS Chatbot powered by natural language programming, farmers can publish their expected harvests, along with their general location, to an App that local buyers can use to find and connect with them.

6/2015 - 11/2017, Postdoctoral Researcher, UC San Diego
I worked with Prof. Jen Burney on several development projects in Zimbabwe, including the Bill $& Melinda Gates Foundation-funded "Farm Buddy" project, for which I was principal investigator.


2008 - 2012, PhD, Ben Gurion University of the Negev
My doctoral research combined multiple disciplines (economics, hydrology, environmental science, agriculture, and policy) to investigate the global drinking water challenge in rural areas of Sub-Saharan Africa, and formulate solutions for "economic water scarcity". The thesis title is "Decision support system for assessing full cost recovery of water development in rural Africa."

2006 - 2008, MSc, Ben Gurion University of the Negev
I studied water resources and management, and my thesis investigated economic demand for environmental improvements to two transboundary streams crossing Palestinian (West Bank) and Israeli populations.

2000 - 2004, AB, Harvard University
Environmental science and public policy

Awards and Honors
2018 - Grand Challenge Grantee - Farmster - Israel Innovation Authority
2016 - Grand Challenge: Explorations PI - Farm Buddy - Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
2013 - Emerging Scholars Award (3rd Prize) - Global Water Forum

2023-2025 (ongoing), Israel Ministry of Science, "Artificial Intelligence-based Decision Support System to Inform Crop Choices", 500,000 NIS

Scientific Publications

A tale of two rivers: Pathways for improving water management in the Jordan and Colorado River basins

Assaf Chen, Adam Abramson, Nir Becker, Sharon B. Megdal
Journal of Arid Environments
Volume 112, Part A, January 2015, Pages 109-123

Exploring parameter effects on the economic outcomes of groundwater-based developments in remote, low-resource settings

Adam Abramson, Eilon Adar, Naftali Lazarovitch
Journal of Hydrology
Volume 514, 6 June 2014, Pages 15-29

Decision support system for economic assessment of water improvements in remote, low-resource settings

Adam Abramson, Naftali Lazarovitch, Sylvie Massoth
Environmental Modelling & Software · Jun 1, 2014

Outlining a transition from cost-effective to productive rural water service improvements

Adam Abramson
In book: Global Water: Issues and Insights

Adapting Enzyme-Based Microbial Water Quality Analysis to Remote Areas in Low-Income Countries

Adam Abramson, Maya Benami, Noam Weisbrod

Environmental Science and Technology

Adapting Enzyme-Based Microbial Water Quality Analysis to Remote Areas in Low-Income Countries

Adam Abramson, Maya Benami, Noam Weisbrod
Environmental Science & Technology · Aug 16, 2013

Willingness to Pay, Borrow and Work for rural water service improvements in developing countries

Adam Abramson, Nir Becker, Yaakov Garb, Naftali Lazarovitch
Water Resources Research · Nov 12, 2011

Stream restoration as a basis for Israeli–Palestinian cooperation: a comparative analysis of two transboundary streams

Adam Abramson, Alon Tal ,Nir Becker, Nader El-Khateeb, Lior Asaf, Amjad Assi, Eilon Adar
International Journal of River Basin Management · Apr 29, 2010

Monitoring Transboundary Palestinian-Israeli Streams: Implications for Cooperative Management Strategies

Alon Tal, Nader Al khateeb, Lior Asaf, Amjad Assi, Alice Nassar, Muath Abu Sadah, Avital Gasith, Jonathan Laronne, Yaron Hirshkowitz, Dima Halawani, Neta Nagouker, Roey Angel, Hila Akerman, Adam Abramson, Mousa Diabat
Monitoring Transboundary Palestinian-Israeli Streams: Implications for Cooperative Management Strategies