Social Learning in Agriculture: Does Smallholder Heterogeneity Impede Technology Diffusion in Sub-Saharan Africa?

85 Pages Posted: 12 Sep 2020

See all articles by Luc Behaghel

Luc Behaghel

Paris School of Economics (PSE)

Jeremie Gignoux

Paris School of Economics (PSE)

Karen Macours

Paris School of Economics (PSE)

Date Written: August 1, 2020

Abstract

Evaluating a large-scale program for dairy farmers in Uganda, we show that a simple version of the “contact farmer” extension model can meaningfully increase smallholder farmers’ revenues. While the program provides no monetary incentives, we find evidence that two other ingredients – backstopping by professional extension agent and advertising pro-social motivation – reinforce its impacts. Though it has been hypothesized to be a major impediment to social learning in SubSaharan African agriculture, we do not find smallholder heterogeneity to condition the effectiveness of the approach: farmer trainers trained to take this heterogeneity into consideration do not perform better; moreover, we find no statistical evidence that program effects vary by farmers’ characteristics.

Keywords: Agricultural Productivity, extension, Heterogeneity, Livestock, Social learning

JEL Classification: O12, O13, O33, Q16

Suggested Citation

Behaghel, Luc and Gignoux, Jeremie and Macours, Karen, Social Learning in Agriculture: Does Smallholder Heterogeneity Impede Technology Diffusion in Sub-Saharan Africa? (August 1, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3688174

Luc Behaghel (Contact Author)

Paris School of Economics (PSE) ( email )

48 Boulevard Jourdan
Paris, 75014 75014
France

Jeremie Gignoux

Paris School of Economics (PSE) ( email )

48 Boulevard Jourdan
Paris, 75014 75014
France

Karen Macours

Paris School of Economics (PSE) ( email )

48 Boulevard Jourdan
Paris, 75014 75014
France

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