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Technology Upgrading in Agricultural Export Supply Chains: A Field Experiment in Vietnam
Last registered on April 21, 2019

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Technology Upgrading in Agricultural Export Supply Chains: A Field Experiment in Vietnam
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0003237
Initial registration date
August 15, 2018
Last updated
April 21, 2019 8:34 AM EDT
Location(s)

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Primary Investigator
Affiliation
University of Hong Kong
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Additional Trial Information
Status
On going
Start date
2017-08-01
End date
2020-08-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
This proposed project studies technology upgrading in an export supply chain of the dragon fruit industry of Vietnam. Despite demand for high-quality fruits from overseas markets, the supply of dragon fruits that meet export standards is surprisingly low. Observations on agricultural practices show persistent use of low technology along the supply chain. One potential key explanation for the lack of supply of export-quality dragon fruits is that farmers and intermediaries lack the information and technological resources that are necessary to produce and trade high-quality agricultural products. I plan to test this hypothesis through a randomized control trial which generates exogenous variation in access to training on an export-oriented agricultural technology for dragon fruit farmers and intermediaries.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Park, Sangyoon. 2019. "Technology Upgrading in Agricultural Export Supply Chains: A Field Experiment in Vietnam." AEA RCT Registry. April 21. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.3237-3.0.
Former Citation
Park, Sangyoon. 2019. "Technology Upgrading in Agricultural Export Supply Chains: A Field Experiment in Vietnam." AEA RCT Registry. April 21. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/3237/history/45299.
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
The intervention will offer farmers and intermediaries the opportunity to receive training on applying a new export-oriented technology for growing and processing dragon fruits. I use this exogenous variation to understand whether and how technology upgrading occurs in the supply chain.
Intervention Start Date
2018-09-01
Intervention End Date
2019-07-31
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Primary outcomes: Product quality measured as percentage of practices that meet GAP standards or laboratory test results on pesticide analysis and the sweetness of fruit; Export volume; Investment; Profits
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
The two primary measures of product quality employed in this study are field observations and laboratory test results regarding compliance to Global Good Agricultural Practices (GAP). For field-based measures, our survey team will visit farms and collection facilities, operated by intermediaries, to evaluate whether current practices meet or exceed the standards recognized by GLOBAL GAP. For laboratory testing on product quality, we plan to hire a company based in Ho Chi Minh city that specializes in food quality testing. Lab test procedures mainly include pesticide residue testing and sweetness measurement. Our research team will collect fruit samples from farms and send them to the laboratory.

The advantages of employing both observational and lab-based measures of product quality are threefold. First, it is practical from the farmer’s and intermediary’s points of view since GLOBAL GAP certification, which is the primary requirement for entering most export markets in the world (UNCTD, 2007), also requires on the field inspections and lab testing. Second, GLOBAL GAP provides a list of standardized practices that can be verified not only by our survey team but also by intermediaries whereas lab testing is costly and in most cases impossible for a single intermediary to implement. Thus, our field-based measure captures what intermediaries may exclusively rely on to infer about product quality. Third, lab test results can provide an accurate measure of product quality in terms of food safety and sweetness which can be used to complement observational measures of quality.

Finally, investment and profit outcomes will be constructed using responses to surveys.
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
I will conduct a randomized control trial (RCT) on dragon fruit farmers and intermediaries to examine the effect of information and technology transfers on the adoption of export-oriented agricultural technologies and trading practices. Specifically, I will randomly provide a subset of farmers and intermediaries with the opportunity to participate in information and training sessions on the farming and trading of export-quality dragon fruits.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Using a computer in my office I will implement stratified random sampling based on data collected from a baseline survey.
Randomization Unit
Sub-commune level
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
100 villages
Sample size: planned number of observations
800 farmers and 300 intermediaries
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
75 villages (approximately 600 farmers and 240 intermediaries) to one of three treatment groups, 25 villages (approximately 200 farmers and 60 intermediaries) to control group
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Holding the sample size of each treatment group at 150 farmers and 70 intermediaries and significance level at 0.05, the statistical power for detecting a 40 percentage point increase in agricultural technology is about 0.97 with farmers and 0.76 with intermediaries, respectively.
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
University of Hong Kong
IRB Approval Date
2017-07-19
IRB Approval Number
EA1703013
Analysis Plan

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