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The Role of Agricultural Training on Fertilizer Use Knowledge: A Randomized Controlled Experiment

Dan Pan and Ning Zhang ()

Ecological Economics, 2018, vol. 148, issue C, 77-91

Abstract: Improving farmers' knowledge of fertilizer use through agricultural training has been considered a prerequisite to scientific fertilizer management. However, empirical evidence of the effect of agricultural training on farmers' fertilizer management knowledge is inconclusive. Based on a randomized controlled experiment involving 687 farmers that mitigates selection bias in the data, this paper identifies the treatment effect of agricultural training on farmers' fertilizer management knowledge in Chinese rice production. Results indicate that the fertilizer management knowledge of field-guidance farmers improved by almost 40%. However, such knowledge acquisition did not occur for curriculum-trained farmers. We also find that there is no evidence of knowledge diffusion from trained farmers to exposed farmers in the same village.

Keywords: Agricultural training; Fertilizer management; Knowledge; Randomized controlled experiment; Treatment effect (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2018.02.004

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