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Can Smallholder Extension Transform African Agriculture?

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  • Joshua W. Deutschmann
  • Maya Duru
  • Kim Siegal
  • Emilia Tjernström

Abstract

Agricultural productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa lags behind all other regions of the world. Decades of investment in agricultural research and extension have yielded more evidence on what fails than on what works—especially for the small-scale producers who dominate the sector. We study a program that targets multiple constraints to productivity at once, similar to anti-poverty “graduation” interventions. Analyzing a randomized controlled trial in western Kenya, we find that participation causes statistically and economically significant gains in output, yields, and profits. In our preferred specification, the program increases maize production by 26% and profits by 16%. The program increases yields uniformly across the sample, while treatment effects on total output and profit impacts are slightly attenuated at the top end of the distribution.

Suggested Citation

  • Joshua W. Deutschmann & Maya Duru & Kim Siegal & Emilia Tjernström, 2019. "Can Smallholder Extension Transform African Agriculture?," NBER Working Papers 26054, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:26054
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    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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