The impact of extension services in times of crisis: Côte d’Ivoire (1997-2000)
This paper revisits the contested issue of the impact of agricultural extension on farm productivity. Often studies in this field suffer from a bias either due to self-selection of the best farmers for the extension services or to endogenous placement of the programme. The panel dataset collected by ANADER and the nature of the extension programme put into operation in Côte d'Ivoire between 1997 and 2001, allow to control for such biases and to deliver more robust estimates. The results indicate a positive impact of extension on yields, after controlling for other factors of production and for time and location e¤ects. While such effect is significant and of considerable magnitude for food crops, coffee and cocoa outputs seem to have behaved differently. The results seem to suggests a tendency for farmers involved in extension to reduce their e¤orts in coffee and cocoa production, a finding consistent with the recent experience in the country. Once we look at revenue the overall impact of extension disappears, indicating that the switch from cash to food crops, despite being the optimal choice during a period of deep crises for perennial crops in the international markets, did not increase the revenues of farmers.
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