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Quality Matters and Not Quantity: Evidence on Productivity Impacts of Extension Service Provision in Ethiopia

  • Ragasa, Catherine
  • Berhane, Guush
  • Tadesse, Fanaye
  • Taffesse, Alemayehu Seyoum

This paper contributes new empirical evidence and nuanced analysis on the gender difference in access to extension services and how this translates to observed differences in technology adoption and agricultural productivity. We employ a cross-sectional instrumental-variable regression method using a regionally-representative dataset of more than 7,500 households and 32,000 plots in four major regions in Ethiopia that was collected during the 2010 main season. Results suggest that female heads of households and plot managers are less likely to get extension services and less likely to access quality services than their male counterparts after controlling for plot, household, and village level characteristics. Receiving advice from development agents (DAs) is strongly and positively related to adoption of improved seed and fertilizer for both females and males, as hypothesized. However, beyond their influence through fertilizer and improved seed use, visits by or advice from DAs are not significant in all productivity models estimated for females and males, which is in contrast to past studies. In some crop-specific productivity models estimated, it is the perceived quality of DA visits and access to radio that appear to be strongly and positively significant in explaining productivity levels for both female and male farmers. Our results highlight the need for productivity models that are stratified by gender and crop.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/150487
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Paper provided by Agricultural and Applied Economics Association in its series 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. with number 150487.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea13:150487
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  1. Yu, Bingxin & Nin-Pratt, Alejandro & Funes, José & Gemessa, Sinafikeh Asrat, 2011. "Cereal production and technology adoption in Ethiopia:," ESSP working papers 31, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  2. Spielman, David J. & Byerlee, Derek & Alemu, Dawit & Kelemework, Dawit, 2010. "Policies to promote cereal intensification in Ethiopia: The search for appropriate public and private roles," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 185-194, June.
  3. Samuel Benin & Ephraim Nkonya & Geresom Okecho & Joseé Randriamamonjy & Edward Kato & Geofrey Lubade & Miriam Kyotalimye, 2011. "Returns to spending on agricultural extension: the case of the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) program of Uganda," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 42(2), pages 249-267, 03.
  4. Byerlee, Derek & Spielman, David J. & Alemu, Dawit & Gautam, Madhur, 2007. "Policies to promote cereal intensification in Ethiopia: A review of evidence and experience," IFPRI discussion papers 707, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  5. Birkhaeuser, Dean & Evenson, Robert E & Feder, Gershon, 1991. "The Economic Impact of Agricultural Extension: A Review," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 39(3), pages 607-50, April.
  6. Yu, Bingxin & Nin-Pratt, Alejandro & Funes, José & Gemessa, Sinafikeh Asrat, 2011. "Cereal production and technology adoption in Ethiopia:," IFPRI discussion papers 1131, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  7. Alston, Julian M. & Wyatt, T. J. & Pardey, Philip G. & Marra, Michele C. & Chan-Kang, Connie, 2000. "A meta-analysis of rates of return to agricultural R & D: ex pede Herculem?," Research reports 113, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  8. Gershon Feder & Regina Birner & Jock R. Anderson, 2011. "The private sector's role in agricultural extension systems: potential and limitations," Journal of Agribusiness in Developing and Emerging Economies, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 1(1), pages 31-54, February.
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