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Low Quality, Low Returns, Low Adoption: Evidence from the Market for Fertilizer and Hybrid Seed in Uganda

Tessa Bold, Kayuki Kaizzi, Jakob Svensson and David Yanagizawa-Drott ()

No 10743, CEPR Discussion Papers from C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers

Abstract: To reduce poverty and food insecurity in Africa requires raising productivity in agriculture. Systematic use of fertilizer and hybrid seed is a pathway to increased productivity, but adoption of these technologies remains low. We investigate whether the quality of agricultural inputs can help explain low take-up. Testing modern products purchased in local markets, we find that 30% of nutrient is missing in fertilizer, and hybrid maize seed contains less than 50% authentic seeds. We document that such low quality results in negative average returns. If authentic technologies replaced these low-quality products, average returns for smallholder farmers would be over 50%.

Keywords: agriculture; substandard inputs; technology adoption (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O13 O33 Q16 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015-08
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-agr and nep-eff
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