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Farmers' preferences for site-specific extension services: Evidence from a choice experiment in Nigeria

Oyakhilomen Oyinbo, Jordan Chamberlin, Bernard Vanlauwe, Liesbet Vranken, Alpha Kamara, Peter Craufurd and Miet Maertens

No 276175, Working Papers from Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centre for Agricultural and Food Economics

Abstract: Agricultural extension to improve yields of staple food crops and close the yield gap in Sub-Saharan Africa often entails general recommendations on soil fertility management that are distributed to farmers in a large growing area. Site-specific extension recommendations that are better tailored to the need of individual farmers and fields, and enabled by digital technologies, could potentially bring about yield and productivity improvements. In this paper, we analyze farmers‟ preferences for site-specific nutrient management recommendations provided by an ICT-based extension tool that is being developed for extension services in the maize belt of Nigeria. We use a choice experiment to provide ex-ante insights on the adoption potentials of site-specific advisory services from the perspective of farmers. We control for attribute non-attendance and account for class as well as scale heterogeneity in preferences using different models, and find robust results. We find that farmers have strong preferences to switch from general to ICT-enabled site-specific soil fertility management recommendations which lend credence to the inclusion of digital technologies in agricultural extension. We find heterogeneity in preferences that is correlated with farmers‟ resource endowments and access to services. A first group of farmers are strong potential adopters; they are better-off, less sensitive to risk, and have higher preferences for investing in farm inputs. A second group of farmers are weak potential adopters; they have lower incomes and fewer productive assets, are more sensitive to yield variability, and prefer less capital and labor intensive production techniques. Our empirical findings have implications for the design, targeting and potential uptake of ICT-based extension tools to meet the needs of different farmers.

Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy; Teaching/Communication/Extension/Profession (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-agr
Date: 2018-08-31
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