Environmental Economics Seminar
Social learning in agriculture: does smallholder heterogeneity impede technology diffusion in Sub-Saharan Africa?
INRAE research professor at PJSE
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 Sub-Saharan 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.
Co-authors : Luc Behaghel et Jeremie Gignoux)
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