Harvesting the Rain: The Adoption of Environmental Technologies in the Sahel

52 Pages Posted: 29 Nov 2021 Last revised: 26 Feb 2022

See all articles by Jenny C Aker

Jenny C Aker

Tufts University

Kelsey Jack

University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB)

Date Written: November 2021

Abstract

Many agricultural and environmental technologies require large upfront investments in exchange for longer-term benefits. This time profile of costs and benefits makes adoption particularly sensitive to liquidity and credit constraints, which are prevalent in low-income settings. We test the importance of these barriers to the adoption of an agricultural technique that helps reduce land degradation and restore soil fertility in Niger. We find little evidence that liquidity or credit constraints deter adoption: instead, providing farmers with training increases the share of adopters by over 90 percentage points, whereas adding conditional or unconditional cash transfers has no additional effect. Adoption increases agricultural output, reduces land turnover and leads to adoption spillovers up to three years after treatment. These results imply that training can be a cost-effective and scalable means of promoting the adoption of profitable technologies.

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Suggested Citation

Aker, Jenny C and Jack, Kelsey, Harvesting the Rain: The Adoption of Environmental Technologies in the Sahel (November 2021). NBER Working Paper No. w29518, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3973316

Jenny C Aker (Contact Author)

Tufts University ( email )

Kelsey Jack

University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) ( email )

South Hall 5504
Santa Barbara, CA 93106
United States

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