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Low Quality, Low Returns, Low Adoption: Evidence from the Market for Fertilizer and Hybrid Seed in Uganda

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  • Bold, Tessa
  • Kaizzi, Kayuki
  • Svensson, Jakob
  • Yanagizawa-Drott, David

Abstract

To reduce poverty and food insecurity in Africa requires raising productivity in agriculture. Systematic use of fertilizer and hybrid seed is a pathway to increased productivity, but adoption of these technologies remains low. We investigate whether the quality of agricultural inputs can help explain low take-up. Testing modern products purchased in local markets, we find that 30% of nutrient is missing in fertilizer, and hybrid maize seed contains less than 50% authentic seeds. We document that such low quality results in negative average returns. If authentic technologies replaced these low-quality products, average returns for smallholder farmers would be over 50%.

Suggested Citation

  • Bold, Tessa & Kaizzi, Kayuki & Svensson, Jakob & Yanagizawa-Drott, David, 2015. "Low Quality, Low Returns, Low Adoption: Evidence from the Market for Fertilizer and Hybrid Seed in Uganda," CEPR Discussion Papers 10743, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:10743
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Esther Duflo & Michael Kremer & Jonathan Robinson, 2011. "Nudging Farmers to Use Fertilizer: Theory and Experimental Evidence from Kenya," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(6), pages 2350-2390, October.
    2. Lori Beaman & Dean Karlan & Bram Thuysbaert & Christopher Udry, 2013. "Profitability of Fertilizer: Experimental Evidence from Female Rice Farmers in Mali," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 381-386, May.
    3. Dean Karlan & Robert Osei & Isaac Osei-Akoto & Christopher Udry, 2014. "Agricultural Decisions after Relaxing Credit and Risk Constraints," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 129(2), pages 597-652.
    4. George J. Mailath & Larry Samuelson, 2001. "Who Wants a Good Reputation?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(2), pages 415-441.
    5. Carl Shapiro, 1982. "Consumer Information, Product Quality, and Seller Reputation," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(1), pages 20-35, Spring.
    6. Andrew D. Foster & Mark R. Rosenzweig, 2010. "Microeconomics of Technology Adoption," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 2(1), pages 395-424, September.
    7. Nkonya, Ephraim & Kaizzi, Crammer & Pender, John, 2005. "Determinants of nutrient balances in a maize farming system in eastern Uganda," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 155-182, August.
    8. Tavneet Suri, 2009. "Selection and Comparative Advantage in Technology Adoption," NBER Working Papers 15346, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Rob Kuijpers & Johan Swinnen, 2016. "Value Chains and Technology Transfer to Agriculture in Developing and Emerging Economies," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 98(5), pages 1403-1418.
    2. Fairbairn, Anna & Michelson, Hope & Ellison, Brenna & Manyong, Victor, 2016. "Mineral Fertilizer Quality: Implications for Markets and Small Farmers in Tanzania," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 236818, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    3. Charles D. Brummitt & Kenan Huremovic & Paolo Pin & Matthew H. Bonds & Fernando Vega-Redondo, 2017. "Contagious disruptions and complexity traps in economic development," Papers 1707.05914, arXiv.org.
    4. Bisimungu, Emmanuel & Kabunga, Nassul, 2016. "A Latent Class Analysis of agricultural technology adoption behavior in Uganda: Implications for Optimal Targeting," 2016 AAAE Fifth International Conference, September 23-26, 2016, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 249347, African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    agriculture; substandard inputs; technology adoption;

    JEL classification:

    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • Q16 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - R&D; Agricultural Technology; Biofuels; Agricultural Extension Services

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