To select 1,200 respondents, we applied a three stage random sampling design. In the first stage we sampled villages and in the second stage we sampled farmer groups from the selected villages. In each village in which farmer groups were sampled AOI held a two hours information session on organic farming to which all members of the respective farmer groups were invited. In the third stage, we sampled participants from all members who attended the information session. Hence, these information sessions served two purposes (1) allow for self-selection based on a basic interest in organic farming and the willingness to participate in farmer group events (2) collect contact details on prospective respondents.
The treatment was randomized at the village level. Half of the villages (30 villages) formed the control group while the other 30 villages received the trainings. Among the training villages we again randomized the type of training intervention. To assess the impact of the intervention we will compare farmers in treated farmer groups and farmers in control farmer groups at the follow up stage. Given the randomization of the intervention, this should yield unbiased treatment effects.
We invited the 20 interviewed farmers in each treatment village to participate in the training. In each farmer group we sampled the farmer group head whenever it was possible (as one of the 20), i.e. when the farmer group head was an active farmer. Given the importance of the farmer group, we expect that this enhances the uptake of any organic farming methods. The training was held on three consecutive days in each farmer group’s village. Organising the training in the respective villages minimized the barriers for farmers to attend. The farmers received Rp 50,000 for each day of the training (only if they attended) to cover any transport costs and to compensate them for their potential forgone earnings on that day. After the training, the farmers received a printed manual on organic farming.
We further visited each training village again around eight months later for the two-hour “coaching clinic” session.