Is farmer-to-farmer extension effective? The impact of training on technology adoption and rice farming productivity in Tanzania

Nakano, Y and Tsusaka, T W and Aida, T and Pede, V O (2018) Is farmer-to-farmer extension effective? The impact of training on technology adoption and rice farming productivity in Tanzania. World Development (TSI), 105. pp. 336-351. ISSN 0305750X

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Abstract

Agricultural training is a potentially effective method to diffuse relevant new technologies to increase productivity and alleviate rural poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). However, since it is prohibitively expensive to provide direct training to all the farmers in SSA, it is critically important to examine the extent to which technologies taught to a small number of farmers disseminate to non-trained farmers. This paper investigates the technology dissemination pathways among smallholder rice producers within a rural irrigation scheme in Tanzania. As an innovative feature, we compare the performance of three categories of farmers: key farmers, who receive intensive pre-season training at a local training center; intermediate farmers, who are trained by the key farmers; and other ordinary farmers. By collecting and analyzing a unique five-year household-level panel data set, we estimate difference-in-differences models to assess how the gap in performance evolve as the technologies spill over from the trained farmers to the ordinary farmers. To disentangle the technology spillover process, we also examine the extent to which social and geographical network with the key and intermediate farmers influences the adoption of technologies by the ordinary farmers, by incorporating social relationship variables into spatial econometric models. We found that the ordinary farmers who were a relative or residential neighbor of a key or intermediate farmer were more likely to adopt new technologies than those who were not. As a result, while the key farmers’ technology adoption rates rose immediately after the training, those of the non-trained ordinary farmers caught up belatedly. As the technologies disseminated, the paddy yield of the key farmers increased from 3.1 to 5.3 tons per hectare, while the yield of the ordinary farmers increased from 2.6 to 3.7 tons per hectare. Our results suggest the effectiveness and practical potential of farmer-to-farmer extension programs for smallholders in SSA as a cost effective alternative to the conventional farmer training approach.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Research Program : East & Southern Africa
CRP: CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM)
CGIAR Research Program on Rice
Uncontrolled Keywords: Technology adoption, Agricultural training, Social learning, Rice cultivation, Sub-Saharan Africa, Tanzania, Rice farming
Subjects: Others > Rice
Others > Agriculture-Farming, Production, Technology, Economics
Others > Agricultural Extension
Others > African Agriculture
Others > Sub-Saharan Africa
Depositing User: Mr Ramesh K
Date Deposited: 27 Mar 2018 03:44
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2018 05:42
URI: http://oar.icrisat.org/id/eprint/10500
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.worlddev.2017.12.013
Projects: UNSPECIFIED
Funders: Japan International Cooperation Agency Research Institute (JICARI), Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS), Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS)
Acknowledgement: The authors appreciate the financial support provided by the Japan International Cooperation Agency Research Institute (JICA RI), the Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS), and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) KAKENHI Grant Number 26101501. We highly appreciate the kind cooperation from TANRICE project team members, including Mr. Motonori Tomitaka, Nobuhito Sekiya, Nobuaki Oizumi of JICA, and other staff of the Ministry of Agriculture Training Institute, Tanzania. We thank the research teams of the International Rice Research Institute, Tanzania, and the Agricultural Research Institute of the Ministry of Agriculture Food Security and Cooperatives, Tanzania, for their role in data collection. We also wish to recognize Mr. Agape Kakumbula and Vicent Temba for their assistance in data cleaning.
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