Root for the Tubers: Extended-Harvest Crop Production and Productivity Measurement in Surveys

36 Pages Posted: 19 Oct 2018 Last revised: 20 Oct 2018

See all articles by Talip Kilic

Talip Kilic

World Bank - Development Data Group (DECDG)

Heather G. Moylan

World Bank

John Ilukor

CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change - Agriculture and Food Security

Clement Mtengula

Independent

Innocent PANGAPANGA-PHIRI

University of Pretoria - Centre for Environmental Economics and Policy for Africa (CEEPA); LILONGWE UNIVERSITY OF AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES

Date Written: October 18, 2018

Abstract

To document the relative accuracy of methods for microdata collection on root and tuber crop production, an experiment was implemented in Malawi over a 12-month period, randomly assigning cassava-producing households to one of four approaches: daily diary-keeping, with semi-weekly supervision visits; daily diary-keeping, with semi-weekly supervisory phone calls; two six-month recall interviews, with six months in between; and a single 12-month recall interview. Lapses in diary-keeping can underestimate true production, albeit to a lesser degree compared to recall. And the comparisons between the diary variants and the variation in underestimation by recall period are unclear ex ante. The analysis reveals that compared to traditional diary-keeping, the household-level annual cassava production is 295 kilograms higher, on average, (and assumed as closer to the truth) under diary-keeping with phone calls. This effect corresponds to 28 percent of the average traditional diary-keeping production estimate. Although the difference between the estimates based on six-month recall and traditional diary-keeping is statistically insignificant, 12-month recall underestimates annual production, on average, by 516 kilograms and 221 kilograms, respectively, compared to diary-keeping with phone calls and traditional diary-keeping. While the recall-based approaches both underestimate true production, six-month recall does so to a lesser extent. The evidence additionally demonstrates likely gross overestimation in international and ministerial statistics on cassava yields in Malawi. For improved microdata on root and tuber crop production, the adoption of (i) diary-keeping with phone calls (particularly if deployed in a broader mobile phone?based survey) or (ii) six-month recall, as a second-best alternative, is recommended.

Keywords: Crops and Crop Management Systems, Climate Change and Agriculture, Food Security, Primary Metals, Telecommunications Infrastructure, Nutrition

Suggested Citation

Kilic, Talip and Moylan, Heather G. and Ilukor, John and Mtengula, Clement and PANGAPANGA-PHIRI, Innocent, Root for the Tubers: Extended-Harvest Crop Production and Productivity Measurement in Surveys (October 18, 2018). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 8618, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3269616

Talip Kilic (Contact Author)

World Bank - Development Data Group (DECDG) ( email )

Via Labicana 110
Rome, Lazio 00184
Italy

Heather G. Moylan

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

John Ilukor

CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change - Agriculture and Food Security

Addis Ababa
Ethiopia

Clement Mtengula

Independent

Innocent PANGAPANGA-PHIRI

University of Pretoria - Centre for Environmental Economics and Policy for Africa (CEEPA) ( email )

Pretoria 0002
South Africa
0606338953 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.up.ac.za/en/ceepa-the-centre-for-environmental-economics-and-policy-in-african/news/post_

LILONGWE UNIVERSITY OF AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES ( email )

Bunda College of Agricultrure
Lilongwe
Malawi
0999338441 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.luanar.ac.mw

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