Farmer groups and input access: When membership is not enough
This paper uses a double hurdle model to explore whether different methods of distributing fertilizer through groups in a targeted input subsidy program affects an intervention’s ability to increase farmer access to agricultural inputs. It uses a case study of Nigeria to demonstrate this. Farmer group membership was required for participating in a voucher program in Nigeria in 2009. However, for actual fertilizer distribution among participants, individual farmers were given their allotted share directly for one set of farmers while for the other set; the fertilizer was given indirectly through a group representative. Where fertilizer was given to a group representative for further distribution to members, respondents with close links to their farm group president received more bags of fertilizer than those without. Where fertilizer was given directly to farmers such results did not obtain. This differential outcome suggests that while groups may facilitate the process of farmer identification and coordination, intra group dynamics may affect their efficacy for providing equal access to inputs for members. A double hurdle model enables us to model the potentially separate processes that determine participation in the voucher program and one’s experience, upon deciding to participate. With intentions to adopt and scale up voucher programs in various food security and poverty alleviation programs across developing countries, it is important to understand the role that intra group dynamics play in the successful implementation of such programs.
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