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Accelerating technical change through ICT: Evidence from a video-mediated extension experiment in Ethiopia

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  • Abate, Gashaw T.
  • Bernard, Tanguy
  • Makhija, Simrin
  • Spielman, David J.

Abstract

Despite enthusiasm around applications of information and communications technologies (ICTs) to smallholder agriculture in many lower-income countries, there are still many questions on the effectiveness of ICT-based approaches. This study assesses the impacts of video-mediated agricultural extension service provision on farmers’ adoption of improved agricultural technologies and practices in Ethiopia using data from a two-year randomized experiment. Our results show that the video-mediated extension approach significantly increases uptake of recommended technologies and practices by improving extension access and farmer knowledge. Specifically, we find that video-mediated extension reaches a wider audience than the government’s conventional extension approach and leads to higher levels of farmer understanding and uptake of the subject technologies in those locations randomly assigned to the program. While our results also point to greater extension access and greater knowledge among female spouses in locations where both male and female spouses were targeted by the program, we do not find clear evidence that a more inclusive approach translates into higher uptake of the subject technologies. Finally, we find that the video-mediated approach becomes less costly as the scale of operation increases.

Suggested Citation

  • Abate, Gashaw T. & Bernard, Tanguy & Makhija, Simrin & Spielman, David J., 2023. "Accelerating technical change through ICT: Evidence from a video-mediated extension experiment in Ethiopia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 161(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:161:y:2023:i:c:s0305750x22002790
    DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2022.106089
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    Cited by:

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    2. Zhenyu Qi & Yuezhou You, 2024. "The Impact of the Rural Digital Economy on Agricultural Green Development and Its Mechanism: Empirical Evidence from China," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 16(9), pages 1-23, April.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Agricultural extension; ICT; Video-based extension; Crop management; Ethiopia;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets
    • Q16 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - R&D; Agricultural Technology; Biofuels; Agricultural Extension Services

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