Improving Incomes of Coffee Farmers (IICoF) In Jimma, Ethiopia

Last registered on January 12, 2024


Trial Information

General Information

Improving Incomes of Coffee Farmers (IICoF) In Jimma, Ethiopia
Initial registration date
January 12, 2024

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
January 12, 2024, 3:43 PM EST

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


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Primary Investigator


Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
PI Affiliation
University of Bordeaux

Additional Trial Information

On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Low adoption of productivity-enhancing technologies and practices continues to be the main barrier to increasing yields among smallholder farmers in Ethiopia. Many socioeconomic and behavioral factors contribute to the low adoption of modern inputs and production methods including limited access to inputs, liquidity and credit constraints, risks and uncertainty, information asymmetry, and present-biased behavior, among others. In this study, we evaluate a project that aims to improve the productivity and income of smallholder coffee and maize farmers in Jimma zone by addressing multiple technology adoption constraints. The evaluation mainly rely on a randomized controlled trial (RCT) to assess the causal effect of the interventions on the adoption of good agricultural practices, productivity, and income. The evaluation will also assess potential synergies between the interventions, provide insights into the pathways that help explain the realized impacts, and potential heterogeneity of impacts along economic and social dimensions..
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Abate, Gashaw T, Tanguy Bernard and Kalle Hirvonen. 2024. "Improving Incomes of Coffee Farmers (IICoF) In Jimma, Ethiopia." AEA RCT Registry. January 12.
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details


The project has four main intervention components: Digital Extension; Input credit; Access to inputs; and Women self-help groups (WSHGs). The main features of each project component are provided below.

Digital Extension. Building on their previous work with maize, teff, and wheat farmers in Ethiopia, Digital Green will develop and use video-based extension (VBE) and interactive voice recording (IVR) approaches to promote best practices in coffee and maize farming in the project areas. Carefully tailored to match the information provided by the public extension service, the content in the VBE and IVR will focus on good agricultural practices, improvement of soil fertility, prevention of pests and diseases, and harvest and post-harvest management.

Input credit. Partnering with local financial service providers (e.g., banks, and micro-finance institutions), Digital Green will pilot input credit to households farming coffee and maize. The voucher-based input credit can be used to purchase key farm inputs such as seeds, seedlings, fertilizers, agrochemicals, and farm tools.

Access to inputs. In this project component, Digital Green will ensure the availability of inputs and tools by collaborating with local cooperatives and agro-dealers.

Women self-help groups (WSHGs). Working with zone and woreda level officials, Digital Green will aim to strengthen existing and form new WSHGs in the project kebeles. Between 3 and 4 videos will be developed to educate the WSHGs on group governance, conflict management, financial literacy, business development, and entrepreneurial skills. The groups will also receive financial support to set up revolving funds to strengthen group lending capacity to develop new and strengthen existing livelihood activities.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
The primary outcomes include farmers’ knowledge of good agricultural practices; adoption of coffee stumping and other good agronomic practices; coffee and maize yields; and household consumption-expenditures.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
The secondary outcome indicators include alternative welfare indicators (household per capita income, household per capita income from activities managed by women, food security) and access to inputs, technologies, and credit.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The experiment is based on a cluster randomized controlled trial (RCT), where cluster is defined at the development (farmer) group level. This is a longitudinal study following coffee farming households for a four-year period covering pre-treatment (baseline) period, period during the treatment (midline) and post-treatment period (endline). The study clusters are randomly allocated to different study arms, permitting us to identify the causal impact of the project. Specifically, we followed two-stage randomization. First, we randomized the 75 eligible/project kebeles into 55 ‘Treatment’ kebeles and 20 ‘Pure Control’ kebeles. Second, in the ‘Treatment’ kebeles we draw a random sample of 625 development groups. To understand potential synergies between the digital extension (DE), input credit (IC), and WSHG project components, these 625 development groups were randomized into the following 5 study arms:

Study arm T1: DE on coffee - exposed to Digital Green’s Video Extension services that focus on coffee farming.
Study arm T2: DE on coffee & maize - exposed to video extension services that focus on both coffee and maize farming.
Study arm T3: DE on coffee & maize + IC - receive the same intervention bundle as households in study arm T2 but in addition, are offered input credit
Study arm T4: DE on coffee & maize + IC + WSHG - exposed to the digital extension on coffee and maize, receive input credit, and are offered to join women’s self-help groups
Study arm TC: Control - a control group within "Treatment" kebeles.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
The randomization was done in office by a computer.
Randomization Unit
Cluster randomization at the kebeles and development (farmer) group levels.
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
75 kebeles for the 1st stage randomization and 625 development (farmer) groups for the second stage randomization.
Sample size: planned number of observations
3,000 farm households.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
500 households per treatment arm.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Stumping adoption (the key best practice for coffee): 3.7 percentage points. Coffee yield: 30.2 percent. Maize yield: 13.4 percent. Consumption expenditure: 15.5 percent.

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

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