Non-AFRE Co-Principle Investigators: Drs. Isabelle Dabire and Adama Traore, National Agricultural and Environmental Research Institute, Ouagadougou
This project is funded by the BASIS AMA CRSP (USAID resources) which is a research program on poverty, inequality and development, dedicated to understanding the poverty and income distribution dynamics of rural economies and to crafting creative policies and programs that broaden the base of economic growth and offer sustainable pathways from rural poverty. The project is also funded by The Gates Foundation.
This project focuses on the problem that supply and demand constraints reduce adoption of improved sorghum technology in the West African Sahel. Accordingly, research will be undertaken with sorghum breeders and agro-input suppliers in Burkina Faso to compare alternative mechanisms to encourage adoption of improved seed and fertilizer micro-packs. A demand side treatment will involve a randomized distribution of micro-packs targeted by social network characteristics. This randomized field experiment will enable us to understand the information effects of farmer take-up and spillovers due to one’s social network.
A social network census will reveal the extent to which villagers insure one another against idiosyncratic risk specifically through exchange of seed, use of complementary inputs, intrahousehold labor substitution and assets. The supply side of the randomized control trial will test whether consistent market supply, credit constraints or farmer commitment explain low adoption rates. We will also explore potential supply side marketing mechanisms for increasing adoption rates. Comparisons of the effects of demand and supply side interventions will inform the development of index insurance to insure farmers against risk. The project will also examine the gender dimensions of adoption. If technology adoption diverts women's labor from their fields to sorghum fields, the household's dietary diversity may decline. Women’s bargaining power within the household may also decrease. We will explore such effects by examining changes in household expenditure shares on goods women care about (e.g., food consumed at home, small livestock, and children’s and women’s clothing) and goods men generally consume (e.g., food consumed outside the home, large livestock and assets, tobacco, and spirits).
Implementation Jun. 2013 - Dec. 2016.