Building Markets in Remote Places: Evidence from Formerly FARC-Controlled Areas of Colombia

Last registered on February 07, 2023


Trial Information

General Information

Building Markets in Remote Places: Evidence from Formerly FARC-Controlled Areas of Colombia
Initial registration date
February 01, 2023

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
February 07, 2023, 11:21 AM EST

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

Last updated
February 07, 2023, 3:33 PM EST

Last updated is the most recent time when changes to the trial's registration were published.


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Primary Investigator

Tufts University

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Arizona State University
PI Affiliation
University of Notre Dame
PI Affiliation
University of Notre Dame

Additional Trial Information

On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Decades of conflict in rural Colombia – combined with the rough terrain and meager transportation infrastructure that are typical of remote and low-income regions – have eroded market ties between rural farmers and wealthier market centers. This poses a challenge to rural livelihoods and coca eradication, both components of Colombia's 2016 Peace Accords. We use a randomized controlled trial to assess the impact of a market-making program, a supply chain intervention that integrates commercialization with agricultural extension practices to connect farmers to buyers of legal crops. We study the market-making program alone and the market-making program plus a cash intervention, which more closely mirrors the Colombian government's current practice. Specifically, we ask: (1) what is the effect of a supply chain intervention that connects coca-growing farmers to buyers of alternative crops on the composition and quantity of household income, coca growth, and social outcomes such as self-efficacy, trust, and security, (2) is there a differential effect of implementing the supply chain intervention alongside a cash intervention that guarantees participants a minimum income, and (3) which version of the program is most cost-effective?
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Bartkus, Viva et al. 2023. "Building Markets in Remote Places: Evidence from Formerly FARC-Controlled Areas of Colombia." AEA RCT Registry. February 07.
Experimental Details


The interventions that we test include a market-making program implemented by our partner non-governmental organization and a cash intervention. The market-making program combines commercialization and agricultural extension practices to connect farmers to buyers of legal crops. Through locally deployed extension agents, the program organizes farmers in rural regions of high coca cultivation into associations. They identify cash crops suited to local agricultural and economic conditions. Next, the NGO invests in inputs (e.g., seeds, tools, training) and infrastructure (e.g., fertilizer production plants, trucks for transport) needed to realize the production of new crops and deliver them to market. The extension agents also train association members to organize regular farmers’ markets in regional capitals and contract directly with large purchasers, such as supermarkets.

The cash intervention offers households the opportunity to do paid work to support the market-making intervention at an above-market wage. This intervention is very similar to India’s widely studied National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) program and guarantees recipients a minimum income of $550 total over the duration of the market-making program.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Quantity and types of crops planted, quantity and sources of household revenue, quantity and types of household costs, quantity and composition of household income, consumption
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Savings, quantity and components of asset stock, investment, self-efficacy, trust, and security
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
We randomize market-making at the level of the vereda (similar to a village). We randomize the cash intervention, which guarantees $550 in total wages to participants, at the individual level. Our sample consists of 1,800 households across 90 veredas in the Guaviare department. We randomly assign 30 veredas to the control group, 30 veredas to receive only the market-making intervention, and 30 veredas to receive market-making and where households are also eligible for the cash intervention. Within the last group, 10 veredas are randomly designated as "high intensity", where 13 individuals per vereda are randomly selected to receive cash. The other 20 veredas are randomly designated as "low intensity", where 1 individual per vereda is randomly selected to receive cash.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by a computer
Randomization Unit
Vereda (for market-making) and household (for cash)
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
90 veredas
Sample size: planned number of observations
1800 households
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
30 veredas - control; 30 veredas - market-making alone; 30 veredas - market-making with some households receiving cash (of which 10 veredas are "high intensity" cash and 20 veredas are "low intensity" cash)
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
University of Notre Dame
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number