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Is Agricultural Extension Helping the Poor? Evidence from Rural Mozambique


  • Benedito Cunguara
  • Karl Moder


Mozambique remains predominantly poor. The official statistics show that poverty incidence barely changed from 54% in 2002-03 to 55% in 2008-09, which stands way above the government's target of 45% by the year 2009. This places the country off-target to cut hunger and poverty by half by 2015, despite an annual economic growth of about 7% in the period 1994-2010. In rural areas, poverty levels have slightly increased, due to the underperformance of the agricultural sector. Extension services can have a significant impact on poverty reduction through stimulating growth in agricultural productivity. Based on a nationally representative household survey from Mozambique, this paper uses three econometric models, namely an OLS regression, the doubly robust estimator and matching and regression to estimate the economic impact of receipt of extension. The results suggest that the receipt of extension increases farm incomes by 12%. However, rather than crafting resource-poor technologies, extension services tend to target wealthier households who are relatively more likely to adopt the existing technologies. This might increase income inequality. The impact of extension, and therefore its contribution to poverty reduction, can be enhanced through several mechanisms (e.g., programme design and the number of staff). Copyright 2011 , Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Benedito Cunguara & Karl Moder, 2011. "Is Agricultural Extension Helping the Poor? Evidence from Rural Mozambique," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 20(4), pages 562-595, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jafrec:v:20:y:2011:i:4:p:562-595

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    Cited by:

    1. Deininger, Klaus & Xia, Fang, 2016. "Quantifying Spillover Effects from Large Land-based Investment: The Case of Mozambique," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 227-241.
    2. Jones, Sam & Tarp, Finn, 2013. "Jobs and Welfare in Mozambique," WIDER Working Paper Series 045, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    3. Kondylis, Florence & Mueller, Valerie & Zhu, Jessica, 2017. "Seeing is believing? Evidence from an extension network experiment," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 125(C), pages 1-20.
    4. Deininger,Klaus W. & Xia,Fang & Mate,Aurelio & Payongayong,Ellen, 2015. "Quantifying spillover effects from large farm establishments : the case of Mozambique," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7466, The World Bank.
    5. Gemo, H. R., 2013. "Why did Mozambique\u2019s public extension halt the implementation of the National Agrarian Extension Program (PRONEA)?," IWMI Working Papers H046296, International Water Management Institute.
    6. Gêmo, Hélder & Chilonda, Pius, 2013. "Why did Mozambique’s public extension halt the implementation of the National Agrarian Extension Program (PRONEA)?:," MSSP working papers 6, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    7. Norbert Schady & Jere Behrman & Maria Caridad Araujo & Rodrigo Azuero & Raquel Bernal & David Bravo & Florencia Lopez-Boo & Karen Macours & Daniela Marshall & Christina Paxson & Renos Vakis, 2015. "Wealth Gradients in Early Childhood Cognitive Development in Five Latin American Countries," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 50(2), pages 446-463.
    8. Steven Glover & Sam Jones, 2016. "Can commercial farming promote rural dynamism in sub-Saharan Africa? Evidence from Mozambique," WIDER Working Paper Series 120, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    9. Egziabher, Kidanemariam G. & Mathijs, Erik & Deckers, Jozef A. & Gebrehiwot, Kindeya & Bauer, Hans & Maertens, Miet, 2013. "The Economic Impact of a New Rural Extension Approach in Northern Ethiopia," Working Papers 146558, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centre for Agricultural and Food Economics.
    10. Takeshima, Hiroyuki, 2015. "Drivers of growth in agricultural returns to scale: The hiring in of tractor services in the Terai of Nepal:," IFPRI discussion papers 1476, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    11. Benedito Cunguara & Joseph Hanlon, 2012. "Whose Wealth Is It Anyway? Mozambique's Outstanding Economic Growth with Worsening Rural Poverty," Development and Change, International Institute of Social Studies, vol. 43(3), pages 623-647, May.

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