An institutional system of agro-advisory to women farmers: A field experiment in Bihar, India

Last registered on December 07, 2021

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
An institutional system of agro-advisory to women farmers: A field experiment in Bihar, India
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0008659
Initial registration date
December 06, 2021
Last updated
December 07, 2021, 4:35 PM EST

Locations

Region

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
IRRI

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
IRRI
PI Affiliation
IFPRI
PI Affiliation
CIMMYT

Additional Trial Information

Status
On going
Start date
2020-08-25
End date
2021-12-30
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Abstract
Low awareness of technology is a big concern in low income countries, especially for smallholder farmers who constitutes nearly 70 percent of their population. Advancement in information and communication technologies and digital farmer services open new avenues to connect millions of smallholders with low cost. At the same time, an increased role of women in farming due to male out-migration is widely reported in India, and hence it is important to understand methods to improve the awareness, education and ability of female farmers. It is unclear whether the digital revolution in Indian agriculture further deepen the gender gap or provide an opportunity for women farmers to get access to information on new technologies and services. In this project we designed an experiment to evaluate the effectiveness of institutionalized advisory services, particularly to women farmers and the adoption of technologies when the advisories are developed for the landscape where smallholder farmers cultivate their crops.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Alvi, Muzna et al. 2021. "An institutional system of agro-advisory to women farmers: A field experiment in Bihar, India." AEA RCT Registry. December 07. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.8659-1.0
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
Two types of interventions are tested in this experiment:
1. Localized agro-advisory messages - Advisories pertaining to timely sowing, irrigation, weed management, and balanced fertilizer application for wheat production is sent to both women and men farmers. The adivsory inclusdes both IVR and SMS.
2. Information campaign using demonstration plots - farmers are recruited for demonstration where s/he will set aside two plots - one for treatment as per the advisory and second one as the control plot. A traveling seminar will be conducted to disseminate information to the community
Intervention Start Date
2020-11-01
Intervention End Date
2021-04-15

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
knowledge gain, Adoption of technology
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Production Efficiency, Crop yield, Investment on agriculture and farm income
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
This project utilizes two types of agro-advisory methods; we consider each method a separate experiment, and experiment contains its own separate treatment arms. We label the first experiment as the agro-advisory message experiment (E1), under which we provide information via mobile phones through an ICT platform. The second experiment consists of information campaign (E2) at the village level, conducted using demonstration plots where information is disseminated through demonstration and related activities. The first experiment contains two treatments--– generic advisory (E1T1) and landscape advisory (E1T2). The first treatment group (E1T1) will receive messages on the four topics mentioned above which are generic in nature (generic recommendation for the entire state). But, for a randomly assigned subgroup of these generic advisory we provide advisories in both Hindi and the local dialect, Mythili. We record the listening duration of these messages and test if there are any significant benefits of information localization, that is providing advisories in local language/dialect. The second group (E1T2) will receive messages adapted to the agro-climatic and institutional context of the region where farmers cultivate.
The second experiment we label the information campaign experiment. In this experiment, first treatment (E2T1) consists of demonstration farmers who demonstrates the technology in their plot with a comparison plot nearby with the support of JEEViKA/KVK. In this treatment farmers are shown information through demonstration plots in their village. During the demonstration, farmers are shown the four specific agronomy practices (Table 2), in addition, the demonstration plots follow zero tillage to sow wheat. Six farmers in the village where demonstration is conducted will be randomly chosen to be sent advisory messages, which constitutes our next treatment arm of the information campaign experiment, information dissemination through demonstration augmenting with agro-advisory messages (E2T2). Another four farmers will not get any message but will be the assigned as ‘spillover-control’. That is, there will be a treatment arm that identifies the impact of combined effect (E1×E2) of agro-advisory through messages and information campaign through demonstration plots.
Two types of controls are used in this study: First, women farmers who do not receive any messages, but part of the SHG network and male members of the same household but outside treatment village. Second, (male and female) farmers in the villages where the information campaign using demonstration plots are conducted but who did not receive any agro advisory. In this case, half of the selected demonstration plots are JEEViKA associated and remaining half are BAU-KVK associated. The first type of pure control group who have not received any messages are chosen from the SHG farmers list whereas the second type of control farmers are selected from the demonstration villages through the institutional systems of JEEViKA and KVKs. Treatment farmers are from the registered farmers list for advisory from JEEViKA or the randomly selected farmers in the demonstration villages.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization done by computer
Randomization Unit
Individual
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
2090 households
Sample size: planned number of observations
4080 individual
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
180 households as controls (including 240 spill over controls), 730 agro-advisory message, 280 information campaign
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Supporting Documents and Materials

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IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
IRRI Research Ethics Committee (IREC)
IRB Approval Date
2021-07-26
IRB Approval Number
2021-0008-A-2015-86
Analysis Plan

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Post-Trial

Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Intervention

Is the intervention completed?
No
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?
No

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials