The Emergence of a Market for Storage Technologies: Addressing Demand and Supply Constraints to Technology Adoption

Last registered on September 20, 2021


Trial Information

General Information

The Emergence of a Market for Storage Technologies: Addressing Demand and Supply Constraints to Technology Adoption
Initial registration date
September 20, 2021

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
September 20, 2021, 6:47 PM EDT

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



Primary Investigator

Cornell University

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Tufts University

Additional Trial Information

On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Cowpeas are an important cash crop for farmers in West Africa, and particularly in Niger, the
second largest cowpea producer in the world. During storage, cowpeas are highly susceptible to
degradation by the cowpea weevil. Despite the importance of this issue for millions of farming
households, adoption of a proven technology to minimize storage losses—hermetically sealed
PICS bags—remains low in some areas of Niger. In 2016 we conducted a pilot study across 63
villages and 30 markets in Niger, to understand the barriers to adoption of this technology. Based
on the insights from that study, we are conducting a 2x2 randomized control trial to address
separate and combined demand- and supply-side constraints to PICS adoption. The findings will provide
evidence relevant to poverty reduction in Niger, and will provide rigorous evidence for the global
agricultural policy community on the cost effectiveness of supply and demand interventions to
promote technology adoption.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Aker, Jenny and Brian Dillon. 2021. "The Emergence of a Market for Storage Technologies: Addressing Demand and Supply Constraints to Technology Adoption ." AEA RCT Registry. September 20.
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Experimental Details


The supply side intervention involves providing traders that sell crop storage bags or cowpeas with (i) a poster to assist with marketing PICS/BEST hermetically sealed bags, and (ii) information about where to source PICS/BEST bags.

The demand side intervention involves (i) a village-level farmer meeting at which we reinforce the same marketing message that is provided on the posters for the supply side intervention, and (ii) a costing exercise conducted with individual farmers to make salient the tradeoffs between PICS/BEST bags and traditional storage technologies.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
At the trader level: stocking of PICS/BEST bags, sales of PICS/BEST bags, use of PICS/BEST bags to store their own crops.

At the farmer level: purchase of PICS/BEST bags, use of PICS/BEST bags, purchase and use of traditional storage technologies (woven bags, plastic liners, pesticides).
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
We conducted baseline surveys with (i) all bag sellers in 150 markets in the Maradi and Zinder regions, and (ii) 12 randomly selected farmers in 220 villages associated with those 150 markets (1 linked village for smaller markets, 2 linked villages for larger markets).

Interventions are cross-randomized as follows: 45 markets assigned to supply (trader) control, demand (farmer) control; 35 to control/treatment; 35 to treatment/control; 35 to treatment/treatment.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by a computer.
Randomization Unit
The randomization unit is the market, for both sides of the experiment.
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
150 clusters.
Sample size: planned number of observations
We conducted baseline surveys with 743 traders in 115 markets. In 35 other study markets we did not find any bag sellers on the day of our census. We are still including those markets in the study, and will identify up to 5 cowpea sellers in those markets to potentially enroll as participants, leading to an expected maximum trader sample size of 918. We conducted baseline surveys with 2639 farmers in 220 villages, and are planning to follow up with all of them.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
45 markets in control/control
35 markets in each of the other 3 arms (C/T ; T/C ; T/T).
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Tufts University Office of the Vice Provost for Research
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number