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Linking farmers to markets: A clustered randomized trial on agricultural productivity and technology adoption
Last registered on March 30, 2018

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Linking farmers to markets: A clustered randomized trial on agricultural productivity and technology adoption
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0002812
Initial registration date
March 28, 2018
Last updated
March 30, 2018 5:30 PM EDT
Location(s)

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Primary Investigator
Affiliation
Institute for International Economic Studies, Stockholm University
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
PNDK
PI Affiliation
Institute for International Economic Studies, Stockholm University
PI Affiliation
Institute for International Economic Studies, Stockholm University
Additional Trial Information
Status
On going
Start date
2016-09-01
End date
2020-12-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
Lack of market access has been highlighted as a crucial constraint to technology adoption and productivity growth in Africa, but rigorous empirical research on the topic is missing. The objective here is to experimentally examine whether farmers’ productivity and willingness to adopt modern technologies will significantly increase if they become meaningfully integrated into the value chain and thus are able to access both functioning input and output markets. Additional constraints, such as lack of knowledge about best agricultural practice, in a scenario in which farmers have access to effective input and output markets, will also be addressed. Because the project aims to experimentally change the market structure farmers face, it requires implementation on a large scale. To achieve this, the intervention is designed in collaboration with a social entrepreneur, active in the maize trading sector in Uganda.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Bold, Tessa et al. 2018. "Linking farmers to markets: A clustered randomized trial on agricultural productivity and technology adoption." AEA RCT Registry. March 30. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.2812-1.0.
Former Citation
Bold, Tessa et al. 2018. "Linking farmers to markets: A clustered randomized trial on agricultural productivity and technology adoption." AEA RCT Registry. March 30. http://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/2812/history/27479.
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
Lack of market access has been highlighted as a crucial constraint to technology adoption and productivity growth in Africa, but rigorous empirical research on the topic is missing.

The objective of the trial is to experimentally examine whether farmers’ productivity and willingness to adopt modern technologies will significantly increase if they become meaningfully integrated into the value chain and thus are able to access both functioning input and output markets. Additional constraints, such as lack of knowledge about best agricultural practice, in a scenario in which farmers have access to effective input and output markets, will also be addressed.

Because the project aims to experimentally change the market structure farmers face, it requires implementation on a large scale. To achieve this, the intervention is designed in collaboration with a social entrepreneur, active in the maize trading sector in Uganda.
Specifically, the trial will examine the impact on farmers’ choice of technologies, productivity, and profitability, of

A. Having access to a functioning output market with a buyer committed to buy farmers’ output at regional market price net of transport cost (with a premium for high quality) without resorting to any dishonest practices nor exploiting its superior bargaining position. This will effectively ensure that the farmer’s decision whether and how much to sell will have no effect on the price the smallholder farmer receives.
B. Having access to a functioning input market where certified high quality inputs are sold and where complementary financial products such as trade credits could be offered.
C. Having access to information about a set of technically and financially feasible pre- and post-harvest best-practices.

The trial is expected to run for (at least) 3 years (over 6 seasons). It is designed as a clustered randomized trials where the main treatments are offered at the cluster (village) level. As our knowledge of how local markets for outputs and inputs function is relatively scarce, the overall trial is structured as an iterative process, where results from each seasons will be used to fine tune the intervention and potentially experiment with new variations. Thus while the broad interventions have been determined, the details of the interventions will be fine tuned over time. Additional treatments at the individual level may also be added.
Intervention Start Date
2018-01-01
Intervention End Date
2020-12-31
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Productivity (yield), profits from farming, rate of technology adoption
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
A clustered randomized trials where the main treatments are offered at the cluster (village) level. Three groups of 20 clusters (villages) each will be phased in over time. Each group consists of a uneven split between treatment and control groups. In each cluster, at least 10 farmers will followed over time.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by computer.
Randomization Unit
Village
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
60 villages.
Sample size: planned number of observations
600-1000 farmers
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
36 treatment villages with different intervention packages, 24 control villages.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
National HIV/AIDS Research Committee
IRB Approval Date
2016-08-26
IRB Approval Number
ARC 178