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Improving Technology Adoption in Agriculture through Extension Services: Evidence from Uruguay

  • Pedro Cerdan-Infantes

    ()

    (Office of Evaluation and Oversight, Inter-American Development Bank, Washington, DC, USA)

  • Alessandro Maffioli

    ()

    (Office of Strategic Planning and Development Effectiveness, Inter-American Development Bank, Washington, DC, USA)

  • Diego Ubfal

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, USA)

This paper analyzes the impact of the ‘Farm Modernization and Development Program’ (PREDEG) on the technology uptake and productivity of Uruguayan farmers. Using a unique panel dataset, we combine propensity score matching techniques and fixed effects models to estimate the program’s impact. Although the results vary according to the crops, we find consistent evidence that the program increased the rate of adoption of certified varieties and the density of plantation. However, there is only limited evidence of its effects on productivity, mostly derived from helping producers to cope with an illness of peach orchards. Conversely, we find some indications of negative lagged productivity effects for apples, which might be related to a short term cost of transitioning to new varieties or technologies. While the evidence of the effects on yields is not definitive due to the limited timeframe of the evaluation, the results indicate that PREDEG services were useful for incentivizing the adoption of specific technologies, as well as for crop-specific technical assistance like plant health.

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Paper provided by Inter-American Development Bank, Office of Evaluation and Oversight (OVE) in its series OVE Working Papers with number 0409.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:idb:ovewps:0409
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  1. Blundell, Richard & Costa Dias, Monica, 2008. "Alternative Approaches to Evaluation in Empirical Microeconomics," IZA Discussion Papers 3800, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Owens, Trudy & Hoddinott, John & Kinsey, Bill, 2003. "The Impact of Agricultural Extension on Farm Production in Resettlement Areas of Zimbabwe," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 51(2), pages 337-57, January.
  3. Bravo-Ureta, Boris E. & Evenson, Robert E., 1994. "Efficiency in agricultural production: The case of peasant farmers in eastern Paraguay," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 10(1), pages 27-37, January.
  4. O'Neill, S. & Matthews, A. & Leavy, A, 1999. "Farm Technical Efficiency and Extension," Trinity Economics Papers 9912, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
  5. Ariel Dinar & Giannis Karagiannis & Vangelis Tzouvelekas, . "Evaluating the Impact of Public and Private Agricultural Extension on Farms Performance: A Non-neutral Stochastic Frontier Approach," Working Papers 0205, University of Crete, Department of Economics.
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