Small-scale Producers (SSPs) across the developing world frequently lack access to reliable information and extension, crucial for prolonged increases in farm productivity and income. In regions such as South Asia, farmer land holdings are generally small, so that increasing SSP incomes requires sustainable augmentation of farm productivity. In the absence of opportunities to consolidate farm holdings, productivity increases and diversification into high value cash crops are widely regarded as key drivers of small farmer incomes. New forms of
extension using Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) coupled with remote sensing data have emerged as promising interventions that may help to sustainably increase farmer productivity and aid transition to higher value crops. This project aims to evaluate one such innovation in agricultural extension with the potential to improve efficiency and surplus for stakeholders - a proprietary digital platform that provide SSPs with farming advice and facilitate two-way communication to address farmer- and crop-specific concerns. Our
evaluation will study the impact of the introduction of this platform by one client on soybean farmers in Maharashtra, India. We use a stratified clustered randomized controlled trial with two arms, treatment and control, to assess impacts on our outcomes of interest, which include (among others) knowledge and adoption of recommended practices, information seeking, agricultural yields, costs and profits, prices and storage behavior. We also study spillover effects on farmers in the same areas who are not linked with the client, but who might benefit indirectly from this intervention. In addition, we conduct nested experiments relating to measurement error in survey data, recall bias and expectations.