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Profitability of fertilizer: Experimental evidence from female rice farmers in Mali

Author

Listed:
  • Beaman, Lori
  • Karlan, Dean S.
  • Thuysbaert, Bram
  • Udry, Christopher

Abstract

In an experiment providing fertilizer grants to women rice farmers in Mali, we found that women who received fertilizer increased both the quantity of fertilizer they used on their plots and complementary inputs such as herbicides and hired labor. This highlights that farmers respond to an increase in availability of one input by re-optimizing other inputs, making it challenging to isolate the returns to any one input. We also found that while the increase in inputs led to a significantly higher level of output, we find no evidence that profits increased. Our results suggest that fertilizer's impact on profits is small compared to other sources of variation. This may make it difficult for farmers to observe the impact of fertilizer on their plots, and accordingly this affects their ability to learn about the returns to fertilizer and could affect their decision to adopt even in the absence of credit constraints.

Suggested Citation

  • Beaman, Lori & Karlan, Dean S. & Thuysbaert, Bram & Udry, Christopher, 2013. "Profitability of fertilizer: Experimental evidence from female rice farmers in Mali," CEPR Discussion Papers 9340, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9340
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    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. Esther Duflo & Michael Kremer & Jonathan Robinson, 2008. "How High Are Rates of Return to Fertilizer? Evidence from Field Experiments in Kenya," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 482-488, May.
    3. Tavneet Suri, 2011. "Selection and Comparative Advantage in Technology Adoption," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(1), pages 159-209, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Teresa Molina Millán & Karen Macours, 2017. "Attrition in randomized control trials: Using tracking information to correct bias," FEUNL Working Paper Series novaf:wp1702, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Faculdade de Economia.
    2. repec:idb:idbbks:7705 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Arturo Aguilar & Eliana Carranza & Markus Goldstein & Talip Kilic & Gbemisola Oseni, 2015. "Decomposition of gender differentials in agricultural productivity in Ethiopia," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 46(3), pages 311-334, May.
    4. 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.
    5. repec:bla:jageco:v:68:y:2017:i:1:p:70-97 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Beaman, Lori & Karlan, Dean & Thuysbaert, Bram & Udry, Christopher, 2014. "Self-Selection into Credit Markets: Evidence from Agriculture in Mali," Working Papers 135, Yale University, Department of Economics.
    7. Jayne, T.S. & Mason, Nicole M. & Burke, William J. & Ariga, Joshua, 2016. "Agricultural Input Subsidy Programs in Africa: An Assessment of Recent Evidence," Food Security International Development Working Papers 245892, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    8. Holden, Stein T. & Westberg, Nina Bruvik, 2016. "Exploring technology use under climate risk and shocks through an experimental lens," African Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, African Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 11(1), March.
    9. Voors, Maarten & Demont, Matty & Bulte, Erwin, 2016. "New Experiments in Agriculture," African Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, African Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 11(1), March.
    10. Tomoya Matsumoto, 2013. "Disseminating New Farming Practices among Small Scale Farmers: An Experimental Intervention in Uganda," NBER Chapters,in: Experiments for Development: Achievements and New Directions National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Levine, N. Kendra & Mason, Nicole M. & Morgan, Stephen N., 2016. "Do input subsidies crowd in or crowd out other soil fertility management practices? Panel survey evidence from Zambia," 2016 AAAE Fifth International Conference, September 23-26, 2016, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 246393, African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE).
    12. repec:eee:jjieco:v:33:y:2014:i:c:p:43-74 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Ashour, Maha & Billings, Lucy & Gilligan, Daniel & Hoel, Jessica B. & Karachiwalla, Naureen, 2016. "Do beliefs about agricultural inputs counterfeiting correspond with actual rates of counterfeiting? Evidence from Uganda:," IFPRI discussion papers 1552, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    14. Nazziwa-Nviiri, Lydia & Van Campenhout, Bjorn & Amwonya, David, 2017. "Stimulating agricultural technology adoption: Lessons from fertilizer use among Ugandan potato farmers," IFPRI discussion papers 1608, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    15. Gabriel Casaburi & Gustavo Crespi & Ignacio L. De León & José Fernández & Lucas Figal Garone & Matteo Grazzi & Carlos Guaipatín & Jorge Katz & Juan J. Llisterri & Alessandro Maffioli & Juan Carlos Nav, 2016. "La política de innovación en América Latina y el Caribe: Nuevos caminos," IDB Publications (Books), Inter-American Development Bank, number 94816 edited by Juan Carlos Navarro & Jocelyn Olivari, February.
    16. Kyle Emerick & Alain de Janvry & Elisabeth Sadoulet & Manzoor H. Dar, 2016. "Technological Innovations, Downside Risk, and the Modernization of Agriculture," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(6), pages 1537-1561, June.
    17. Jacob Ricker-Gilbert & T. S. Jayne, 2017. "Estimating the Enduring Effects of Fertiliser Subsidies on Commercial Fertiliser Demand and Maize Production: Panel Data Evidence from Malawi," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(1), pages 70-97, February.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    agricultural economics; returns to fertilizer;

    JEL classification:

    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • 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

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