Can Smallholder Extension Transform African Agriculture?

61 Pages Posted: 9 Mar 2020 Last revised: 10 Sep 2021

See all articles by Joshua W. Deutschmann

Joshua W. Deutschmann

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Agricultural and Applied Economics

Maya Duru

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL)

Kim Siegal

One Acre Fund

Emilia Tjernström

The University of Sydney - School of Economics; University of Sydney

Date Written: July 2019

Abstract

Agricultural productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa lags behind all other regions of the world. Decades of investment in agricultural research and extension have yielded more evidence on what fails than on what works—especially for the small-scale producers who dominate the sector. We study a program that targets multiple constraints to productivity at once, similar to anti-poverty “graduation” interventions. Analyzing a randomized controlled trial in western Kenya, we find that participation causes statistically and economically significant gains in output, yields, and profits. In our preferred specification, the program increases maize production by 26% and profits by 16%. The program increases yields uniformly across the sample, while treatment effects on total output and profit impacts are slightly attenuated at the top end of the distribution.

Suggested Citation

Deutschmann, Joshua W. and Duru, Maya and Siegal, Kim and Tjernström, Emilia, Can Smallholder Extension Transform African Agriculture? (July 2019). NBER Working Paper No. w26054, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3550960

Joshua W. Deutschmann (Contact Author)

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Agricultural and Applied Economics ( email )

United States

Maya Duru

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) ( email )

30 Wadsworth Street, E53-320
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States

Kim Siegal

One Acre Fund ( email )

80 Broad St. Suite 2500
New York, NY 10004
United States

Emilia Tjernström

The University of Sydney - School of Economics ( email )

School of Economics
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://emiliatjernstrom.com/

University of Sydney ( email )

P.O. Box H58
Australia Square
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://https://emiliatjernstrom.com

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