How Sustainable are Benefits from Extension for Smallholder Farmers? Evidence from a Randomized Phase-Out of the BRAC Program in Uganda

62 Pages Posted: 26 Mar 2017

See all articles by Ram Fishman

Ram Fishman

George Washington University

Stephen C. Smith

George Washington University - Department of Economics

Vida Bobić

George Washington University

Munshi Sulaiman

BRAC-Africa

Abstract

Many development programs are based on short-term interventions, either because of external funding constraints or because it is assumed that impacts persist post program termination ("sustainability"). Using a novel randomized phase-out research method, we provide experimental tests of the effects of program phase-out in the context of a large-scale agricultural input subsidy and extension program operated by the NGO BRAC to increase the use of improved seed varieties and basic farming practices among women smallholders in Uganda. We find that while supply of improved seeds through local, BRAC trained women declined, demand does not diminish, and farmers shift purchases from BRAC to market sources, indicating a persistent learning effect. We also find no evidence of declines in the practice of improved and less costly cultivation techniques taught by the program. These results have implications for both efficient program design and for models of technology adoption.

Keywords: agricultural extension, agricultural technology adoption, food security, supply chain, subsidies, randomized phase-out, Uganda

JEL Classification: O13, O33, I32, Q12

Suggested Citation

Fishman, Ram and Smith, Stephen C. and Bobić, Vida and Sulaiman, Munshi, How Sustainable are Benefits from Extension for Smallholder Farmers? Evidence from a Randomized Phase-Out of the BRAC Program in Uganda. IZA Discussion Paper No. 10641. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2940631

Ram Fishman (Contact Author)

George Washington University ( email )

Washington, D.C., DC
United States

Stephen C. Smith

George Washington University - Department of Economics ( email )

2115 G Street NW
306 Monroe Hall
Washington, DC 20052
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://www2.gwu.edu/~iiep/about/faculty/ssmith/

Vida Bobić

George Washington University

2121 I Street NW
Washington, DC 20052
United States

Munshi Sulaiman

BRAC-Africa ( email )

Liberia

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