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How to Make Farming and Agricultural Extension More Nutrition-Sensitive: Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial in Kenya

S. Ogutu, A. Fongar, T. Godecke, L. Jackering, H. Mwololo, M. Njuguna, M. Wollni and M. Qaim

No 277250, 2018 Conference, July 28-August 2, 2018, Vancouver, British Columbia from International Association of Agricultural Economists

Abstract: We analyze how agricultural extension can be made more effective in terms of increasing smallholder farmers adoption of pro-nutrition technologies, such as biofortified crops. In a randomized controlled trial with farmers in Western Kenya, we implemented several extension treatments and evaluated their effects on the adoption of beans that were biofortified with iron and zinc. Difference-in-difference estimates show that intensive agricultural training tailored to local conditions can increase technology adoption considerably. Within less than one year, adoption of biofortified beans increased from almost zero to more than 20%. Providing additional nutrition training further increased adoption by another 10-12 percentage points, as this has helped farmers to better appreciate the technology s nutritional benefits. These results suggest that effective nutrition training through agricultural extension services is possible. Providing marketing training did not lead to additional adoption effects, although the study period may have been too short to measure these effects properly. This study is a first attempt to analyze how improved designs of agricultural extension can help to make smallholder farming more nutrition-sensitive. More research in this direction is needed. Key words: agricultural extension, technology adoption, biofortification, nutrition-sensitive agriculture, Kenya JEL codes: C93, O33, Q12, Q16, Q18 Acknowledgement : This research was financially supported by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) based on a decision of the Parliament of the Federal Republic of Germany (grant number 2813FSNu01). The authors thank Jonathan Nzuma (University of Nairobi) for his research cooperation.

Keywords: Food; Consumption/Nutrition/Food; Safety (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-agr and nep-exp
Date: 2018-07
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