One Size Fits All? Experimental Evidence on the Digital Delivery of Personalized Extension Advice in Nigeria

44 Pages Posted: 3 Jun 2020 Last revised: 30 Sep 2020

See all articles by Aminou Arouna

Aminou Arouna

Africa Rice Center (WARDA)

Jeffrey D. Michler

University of Arizona

Wilfried Yergo

AfricaRice

Kazuki Saito

RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science; Chiba University, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Science, Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology

Date Written: April 1, 2020

Abstract

Blanket advice on optimal fertilizer application rates has failed to achieve potential yield gains for crop production in much of Sub-Saharan Africa. However, digital technology now makes it possible to deliver personalized extension services to farmers at a much lower cost. We present results from a randomized control trial designed to evaluate the effectiveness of a mobile application (or app) that provides personalized advice on rice nutrient management. We find that households who were only given personalized advice increase their yield by seven percent and increase their profit by 10 percent. We show that, on average, personalized advice increases yields without increasing the overall quantity of fertilizer used. We conclude that the scaling of personalized extension services could improve productivity and livelihoods in Sub-Saharan Africa without necessarily increasing the total amount of fertilizer in use.

Keywords: information interventions, extension, information and communication technology, decision support tools, RiceAdvice

JEL Classification: C93, D24, O33, Q16

Suggested Citation

Arouna, Aminou and Michler, Jeffrey D. and Yergo, Wilfried and Saito, Kazuki, One Size Fits All? Experimental Evidence on the Digital Delivery of Personalized Extension Advice in Nigeria (April 1, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3593878 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3593878

Aminou Arouna

Africa Rice Center (WARDA) ( email )

Kennedy
Bouake, Bouake 2551
Ivory Coast (Cote D'ivoire)

Jeffrey D. Michler (Contact Author)

University of Arizona ( email )

Department of History
Tucson, AZ 85721
United States

Wilfried Yergo

AfricaRice ( email )

United States

Kazuki Saito

RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science

2-1 Hirosawa
Wako, Saitama, 351-0198
Japan

Chiba University, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Science, Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology

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