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Reconsidering the evidence on returns to T&V extension in Kenya

Listed author(s):
  • Gautam, Madhur
  • Anderson, Jack R.
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    The authors revisit the widely disseminated results of a study (Bindlish and Evenson 1993, 1997) of the impact of the training and visit (T&V) system of management for public extension services in Kenya. T&V was introduced in Kenya by the World Bank and has since been supported through two successive projects. The impact of the projects continues to be the subject of much debate. The authors'paper suggests the need for greater vigilance in empirical analysis, especially about the quality of data used to support Bank policy and the need to validate potentially influential findings. Using household data from 1990, Bindlish and Evenson found the returns from extension to be very high. But the authors find that the returns estimated by Binslish and Evenson suffer from data errors, and limitations imposed by cross-sectional data. After correcting for several data processing and measurement errors, the authors show the results to be less robust than reported by Bindlish and Evenson and highly sensitive to regional effects. When region-specific effects are included, a positive return to extension cannot be established, using Bindlish and Evenson's data set and cross-sectional model specifications. After testing the robustness of results using a number of tests, the authors could not definitively establish the factors underlying strong regional effects, largely because of the limitations imposed by the cross-sectional framework. Household panel data methods would have allowed greater control for regional effects and would have yielded better insight into the impact of extension. The impact on agricultural productivity in Kenya expected from T&V extension services is not discernible from the available data, and the impact may vary across districts. The hypothesis that T&V had no impact in Kenya between 1982 and 1990 cannot be rejected. The sample data fail to support a positive rate of return on the investment in T&V.

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    Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 2098.

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    Date of creation: 30 Apr 1999
    Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2098
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    1. Birkhaeuser, Dean & Evenson, Robert E & Feder, Gershon, 1991. "The Economic Impact of Agricultural Extension: A Review," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 39(3), pages 607-650, April.
    2. Bindlish, V. & Evenson, R., 1993. "Evaluation of the Performance of T&V Extension in Kenya," Papers 208, World Bank - Technical Papers.
    3. Anderson, Jock R. & Feder, Gershon, 2007. "Agricultural Extension," Handbook of Agricultural Economics, Elsevier.
    4. Bindlish, Vishva & Evenson, Robert E, 1997. "The Impact of T&V Extension in Africa: The Experience of Kenya and Burkina Faso," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 12(2), pages 183-201, August.
    5. Cleaver, K., 1993. "A Strategy to Develop Agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa and a Focus for the World Bank," Papers 203, World Bank - Technical Papers.
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