For many smallholder farmers in the developing world, agro-dealers serve as providers of basic extension services to farmers. For agro-dealers, the potential for additional sales creates the motivation to diffuse information about new technologies such as improved seed varieties. Therefore, relying on agro-dealers to disseminate information to potential customers could be more cost effective than providing extension services directly to individual farmers. While farmers in Odisha could benefit from substantially from adopting Swarna-Sub1, a submergence tolerant rice variety found to reduce yield losses, only around 20 percent of farmers in India used Swarna Sub-1 as of 2015. Lack of information about the new variety serves as a barrier to adoption. In partnership with Odisha’s Ministry of Agriculture, India’s National Food Security Mission (NFSM), and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), researchers are conducting a randomized evaluation to test the impact of targeted extension services to agro-dealers on the spread of information and access to Swarna-Sub1. This would enable incentive-based mechanisms to encourage technology adoption by farmers. To measure adoption and availability of Swarna-Sub-1, researchers will survey farmers, agro-dealers, and public seed distributors for two agricultural seasons after the intervention has been implemented. Results forthcoming.
Copyright 2019. All Rights Reserved
Design & Dev by Wonderland Collective