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Can simple seed fairs lead to increased adoption of modern seed varieties?
Last registered on July 21, 2014


Trial Information
General Information
Can simple seed fairs lead to increased adoption of modern seed varieties?
Initial registration date
July 21, 2014
Last updated
July 21, 2014 7:45 PM EDT
Primary Investigator
Tufts University
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
UC Berkeley
PI Affiliation
UC Berkeley
Additional Trial Information
On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
In the absence of formal markets for new seed varieties, farmer-to-farmer exchanges are a popular mechanism for diffusing these technologies. This approach implicitly relies on exchange via social networks. But, recent work has found that networks perform quite poorly at diffusing new seed varieties. Only 7% of farmers adopt from other farmers in their village. This compares to 40% when preferences were revealed via door-to-door sales (Emerick, 2013). These results suggest that the adoption gap – through the informal channel of social networks – is not demand driven. Rather, the existing sources of supply have not been sufficient to meet demand, or have not reached farmers with an effective demand for the new technology. In this study we ask whether coordination can explain the failure of informal exchange to efficiently allocate new seeds. We do this by testing the effectiveness of NGO-supported seed fairs on adoption. These events serve to solve coordination problems by simply bringing together original cultivators with potential adopters.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Emerick, Kyle, Alain Janvry and Elisabeth Sadoulet. 2014. "Can simple seed fairs lead to increased adoption of modern seed varieties?." AEA RCT Registry. July 21. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.449-1.0.
Former Citation
Emerick, Kyle et al. 2014. "Can simple seed fairs lead to increased adoption of modern seed varieties?." AEA RCT Registry. July 21. http://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/449/history/2188.
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Experimental Details
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Adoption (0/1) at the individual level
Adoption (hectares cultivated at the village level, collected with GIS)
Knowledge of Swarna-Sub1 (short "exam" at follow-up)
Characteristics of first year adopters (size, education, cognitive ability, progressiveness, reputation as quality seed producer, flood severity of land)
Characteristics of second year adopters (similar to first year adopters)
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
In May 2014, 25 kilograms of Swarna-Sub1 (a new flood-tolerant rice variety) were distributed in 100 villages in the flood-prone district Balasore. The mechanism for distribution was randomized across three possibilities:
1) Seeds given at a participatory village meeting
2) Seeds allocated to the local Self Help Group (women's group)
3) Seeds allocated to a local political official (ward member) for allocation to villagers

A further intervention will take place in March 2014. Farmer field days will be carried out in 50 of the villages. Farmers will be invited to the fields of original cultivators in order to increase awareness. Seed fairs will be organized in the remaining 50 villages in order to solve any coordination problems that may exist.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by random number generator in Stata
Randomization Unit
Randomization at the village level
Was the treatment clustered?
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
100 villages
Sample size: planned number of observations
100 villages in village level analysis, 1000 farmers in farmer-level analysis
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
June 2014: 33 villages in SHG group, 33 in Village meeting, and 34 in Ward Member
September 2014: 50 villages for farmer field days
March 2015: 50 villages for seed fairs
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB Name
UC Berkeley
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Is the intervention completed?
Is data collection complete?
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
Program Files
Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials
Relevant Paper(s)