Does sending farmers back to school have an impact? a spatial econometric approach
The Farmer Field School (FFS) is an intensive training program providing farmers with science based knowledge and practices, including integrated pest management (IPM). Recently there has been intensive debate as to whether or not this kind of training has any significant impact. Most case studies argue that the impact, in terms of a farmer’s ability to reduce the use or pesticides while increasing yields, is significant. However, studies conducted by Feder et al., using a household panel data set for Indonesia, could not confirm that this is the case. This paper utilizes Feder et al.’s data set and applies a modified model specification and a spatial econometric technique to re-evaluate whether or not the FFS induces better performances among farmers enrolled in the program and also among their neighbors, who are expected to receive some spillover knowledge from the FFS alumna.
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