A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial
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Asresu Yitayew, Awudu Abdulai, Yigezu Yigezu, Tilaye Deneke, Girma Kassie. (1/12/2020). A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial.
Imperfect information about the benefits of agricultural technologies among smallholder farmers is a key factor for their low adoption and hence low agricultural productivity in sub-Sahara Africa (SSA). We use a cluster randomized control trial (CRT) to examine whether improved extension services influence smallholder farmers’ decisions to adopt a new wheat variety. The experiment involved changes in the extension service delivery approach and extension agents’ facilitation and communication capacity. Results revealed that adoption of the newly introduced improved wheat variety was higher in the villages where the improved agricultural extension services were practiced. Our findings provide insights on the significance of designing alternative extension services delivery approaches to facilitate the transmission of information on the benefits of new technologies and in enhancing adoption – an essential element for achieving impact at scale. The findings also provide evidence for extension program placement to be considered along with improving extension services. Our findings could be instrumental in solving the development puzzle in agrarian economies.