Yacob Abrehe Zereyesus

Senior Economist


Yacob Abrehe Zereyesus is a senior economist in the International Trade and Development Branch of the Market and Trade Economics Division of USDA, Economic Research Service (ERS). In this role, he currently leads the agency’s annual International Food Security Assessment (IFSA) report that tracks the food security outlook in 77 low- and middle-income countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa, Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean.


Yacob served as a research associate professor at Kansas State University prior to joining USDA, ERS. At Kansas State, Yacob led and coordinated the collection of population-based household survey data for tracking the progress and for the achievement of food and nutrition security programs in northern Ghana. His research interests cover a broad range of topics related to food security, including farm production and income, and the dynamics of labor allocations and employment conditions in farm households; the vulnerability, resilience, and adaptation of farm households and operations to shocks; and the consumption of nutritious and safe food. He has developed a long-standing interest in the adoption and impact assessment of agricultural technologies, with special emphasis on the adoption of modern crop varieties in Sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere. In addition, Yacob has taught undergraduate classes in global agricultural development and data analytics in agricultural economics at Kansas State.


Ph.D., Kansas State University, Agricultural Economics, December 2010

M.S., Kansas State University, Agricultural Economics, December 2009

M.S., The University of Free State, South Africa, Agribusiness, August 2003

B.S., University of Asmara, Asmara, Eritrea, Plant Sciences, May 1997

Certificate in Graduate Applied Statistics, Kansas State University, May 2010

Professional Affiliations

American Economic Association (AEA)

Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (AAEA)

Selected Publications

Abdul-Rahaman, A., G. Issahaku, and Y.A. Zereyesus. 2021. “Improved Rice Variety Adoption and Farm Production Efficiency: Accounting for Unobservable Selection Bias and Technology Gaps Among Smallholder Farmers in Ghana,” Technology in Society 64:101471.

Abreha, S.K., S.Z. Walelign, and Y.A. Zereyesus. 2020. “Associations Between Women’s Empowerment and Child Health Status in Ethiopia,” PloS ONE 15(7):e0235825.  

Abreha, S.K., and Y.A. Zereyesus. 2021. “Women’s Empowerment and Infant and Child Health Status in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Systematic Review,” Maternal and Child Health Journal 1–12.

Bairagi, S., Y. Zereyesus, S. Baruah, and S. Mohanty. 2022. “Structural Shifts in Food Basket Composition of Rural and Urban Philippines: Implications for the Food Supply System,” PloS ONE 17(3):e0264079.

Baquedano, F., J. Jelliffe, J. Beckman, M. Ivanic, Y. Zereyesus, and M. Johnson. 2022. “Food Security Implications for Low- and Middle-income Countries Under Agricultural Input Reduction: The Case of the European Union's Farm to Fork and Biodiversity Strategies,” Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy 1–13. 

Embaye W.T., Y.A. Zereyesus, B. Chen. 2021. “Predicting the Rental Value of Houses in Household Surveys in Tanzania, Uganda and Malawi: Evaluations of Hedonic Pricing and Machine Learning Approaches,” PloS ONE 16(2):e0244953.

Vipham, J.L., Y.A. Zereyesus, Amenu, K., S. Alonso, J.B. Ndahetuye, K. Sah, A. Havelaar, and D. Grace. 2020. “No Food Security Without Food Safety: Lessons From Livestock-related Research for Global Food Security,” Global Food Security 26:100382.

Zereyesus, Y.A., K.L. Ross, V. Amanor-Boadu, and T.J. Dalton. March 2014. Baseline Feed the Future Indicators for Northern Ghana 2012 (book), prepared for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

Zereyesus, Y.A. 2017. “Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture and Household-level Health in Northern Ghana: A Capability Approach,” Journal of International Development 29:899–918.

Zereyesus, Y.A., and T.J. Dalton. 2017. “Rates of Returns to Sorghum and Millet Research Investments: A Meta-Analysis,” PloS ONE 12(7).

Zereyesus, Y.A., W.T. Embaye, F. Tsiboe, and V. Amanor-Boadu. 2017. “Implications of Non-farm Work to Vulnerability to Food Poverty – Recent Evidence From Northern Ghana,” World Development 90.

Zereyesus, Y.A., V. Amanor-Boadu, K.L. Ross, and C.A. Guvele. 2018. Ghana: Feed the Future  Zone of Influence Indicator Assessment Report (book), March 2018, Feed the Future: The U.S. Government’s Global Hunger & Food Security Initiative, prepared for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

Zereyesus, Y.A., A.M. Featherstone, and M.R. Langemeier. 2021. “Are Kansas Farms Profit Maximizers? A Stochastic Additive Error Approach,” Agricultural Economics 52(1), 37-50.