Correcting misinformation and misperception to increase agricultural technology adoption: the case of sweet potato cultivation in Uganda.

Last registered on September 19, 2022

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Correcting misinformation and misperception to increase agricultural technology adoption: the case of sweet potato cultivation in Uganda.
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0010070
Initial registration date
September 14, 2022

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
September 19, 2022, 4:17 PM EDT

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.

Locations

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Primary Investigator

Affiliation
Paris School of Economics

Other Primary Investigator(s)

Additional Trial Information

Status
In development
Start date
2022-09-15
End date
2023-03-30
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Abstract
I study an intervention that provides farmers with information regarding vitamin A content of biofortified varieties, the causes of stresses (weather or virus/disease related) to sweet potato cultivation and objectively measured information on characteristics of the varieties cultivated in Uganda. This study aims to test if changes in farmers' incorrect priors can lead to changes in adoption rates of disease resistant or biofortified sweet potato varieties and other agricultural practices. The intervention is motivated by the discrepancy found between: i) farmers’ self-reported information regarding the traits of the sweet potato varieties cultivated and, ii) the results of the DNA fingerprinting analysis; and by farmers’ misdiagnosis of the sources of yield loss (i.e. not recognizing symptoms of common diseases and mistaking them for climate-related stress).

External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Mallia, Paola. 2022. "Correcting misinformation and misperception to increase agricultural technology adoption: the case of sweet potato cultivation in Uganda. ." AEA RCT Registry. September 19. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.10070-1.0
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
Farmers of the same village will be invited to participate to group discussions. During the meeting, facilitators will share information linking the color of the flesh of sweet potato to vitamin A content and common sweet potato diseases. In addition to the information component, in a random subset of villages, farmers will also be provided with objectively measured information regarding the characteristics of the varieties cultivated in the previous agricultural season (Aug-Jan 2022).
Intervention Start Date
2022-09-15
Intervention End Date
2022-09-30

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Adoption of disease resistant or orange fleshed sweet potato varieties.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Adoption of disease resistant or orange fleshed sweet potato varieties.

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Diversification in varietal choice (number of varieties per plot, share of varieties that are disease resistant and/or biofortified), household consumption of biofortified sweet potato, farmers’ diseasemanagement practices (uprooting of virus-affected plants, distancing of plots)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The sample includes a total of 108 villages in 4 regions of Uganda. Randomization is at the village level, stratifying by i) region and, ii) share of leaf samples per village that are either disease resistant sweet potato varieties or biofortified sweet potato varieties (orange fleshed).
The treatment arms are:
(1) Part 1 + Part 2 (36 villages): where in Part 1 participants receive information about colors of the flesh of sweet potato varieties color and vitamin A content. Part 2 consists of providing information about the two most common diseases affecting sweet potato, i.e. SPVD and Alternaria Blight. Both Part 1 and Part 2 rely on the use of visual aids.
(2) Part 1 + Part 2 + Part 3 (36 villages): where in Part 3 participants receive the results of DNA-fingerprinting analysis performed on sweet potato leaf samples collected from their plots. This part implies providing farmers feedback regarding the identified varities grown and their characteristics.
(3) Control group (36 villages): receive no intervention.

Each treatment will be administered to two groups of farmers in each village:
- Group 1: sweet potato farmers that were randomly selected for leaf samples collection for DNA fingerprinting at the end of the agricultural season Aug-Jan 2022.
- Group 2: sweet potato farmers that were not part of the leaf samples data collection.


Treatment 1&2 and control group will then be visited for a follow-up survey to measure the impact of the intervention on knowledge and decision making at the end of the agricultural season.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by a computer.
Randomization Unit
Village level randomization.
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
108 villages, in 19 districts, in 4 regions.
Sample size: planned number of observations
The sample includes an average of 7 farmers per group (1 or 2), for a total of 2150 observations. Treatment 1 716 observations, treatment 2 712 observations and control group is 722.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
36 villages in Treatment 1 (Part 1 + Part 2), 36 villages in Treatment 2 (Part 1 + Part 2 + Part 3) and 36 in control.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Paris School of Economics
IRB Approval Date
2022-09-10
IRB Approval Number
2022-020
IRB Name
Mildway Uganda Research Ethics Committee (MUREC)
IRB Approval Date
2022-08-29
IRB Approval Number
0311-2021