The Impact of the Promotion of Row Planting on Farmers’ Teff Yield in Ethiopia


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International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and Ethiopian Development Research Institute (EDRI). Conference on "Towards what works in Rural Development in Ethiopia: Evidence on the Impact of Investments and Policies". December 13, 2013. Hilton Hotel, Addis Ababa.

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The Impact of the Promotion of Row Planting on Farmers’ Teff Yield in Ethiopia

  1. 1. ETHIOPIAN DEVELOPMENT RESEARCH INSTITUTE The Impact of the Promotion of Row Planting on Farmers’ Teff Yield in Ethiopia Joachim Vandercasteelen, Mekdim Dereje, Bart Minten, and Alemayehu Seyoum Taffesse IFPRI-ESSPII EDRI December 13, 2013 Hilton Hotel, Addis Ababa 1
  2. 2. Structure of Presentation  Introduction  Set up of the experiment  Estimation strategy  Results  Conclusion  Policy recommendation 2
  3. 3. Introduction  Teff is Ethiopia’s most important staple crop in terms of both production and consumption.  Despite its importance, its yield is remarkably low.  There are several reasons for this; one of the major reasons is the way farmers are sowing teff.  Reduced seed technologies particularly row planting and transplanting suggested to improve the productivity of teff.
  4. 4. Introduction, cont’d • New technologies are presumed to be yield increasing because: 1/ Reduce competition; 2/ Ease weeding; 3/ Lower damage during harvest
  5. 5. Introduction, cont’d  Objective of the study: Measure the impact of the promotion of improved sowing technologies (especially row planting) on land productivity. 5
  6. 6. Set up of the experiment  Design in line with ATA/MoA program, but modifications:     10 AGP woredas were randomly selected in Oromia 4 FTCs were selected in each woreda (40 FTC in total) In each FTC, 25 farmers were selected (1,000 farmers): 10 controls; 10 row planters, 5 transplanting At FTC level, experiments on 10 plots conducted by DA  Set-up:  Farmers are randomly assigned to different treatment groups (control/transplanting/row planting)  All famers (control and treated) received same modern inputs (fertilizer and improved seed for free) 6
  7. 7. Set up of the experiment, cont’d  In total, 3 surveys were conducted: 1. Baseline survey (October 2012) 2. Crop cut (November-December 2012/January 2013) 3. Impact survey (February 2013)
  8. 8. Set up of the experiment, cont’d  Problems with implementation:  1 woreda dropped out  25 farmers were not everywhere interviewed (because of lack of transplanters, etc.)  selection was not everywhere done randomly  Result: two samples of interest  Full sample: both random and non-random selected farmers 984 farmers from 36 villages  Random sample 537 farmers from 19 villages 8
  9. 9. Estimation strategy  Outcome of interest  Yield from farmers plots  Yield declaration by farmers  Yield measurements crop-cut  Yield expectations farmers  Yield from FTC plots  Appropriate econometric methods employed for different samples and outcome variables 9
  10. 10. Results  Effect of row planting on yield measured by crop-cut actual yield, crop-cut expected yield, and farmers’ declaration  Row planting has a positive - but moderate - effect on teff yield at the farm level Table: Impact of row planting (compared to broadcasting) on yield (%) (*: statistically significant) Crop-cut Yield Rowplanting Average (control) (ton/ha) Crop-cut expected Yield Declared Yield 2 17** 12* 1.1*** 1.3*** 1.2*** 10
  11. 11. FTC data  In theory each of the 36 FTC rolled out 10 trials, but because of implementation problems we have 331 trials.  The effect of row planting: increase of the average yield by 20 percent.  Higher estimates because treatment plots used more fertilizer, use less seed, and are weeded more  This is on top of better farm management by the Development Agents (DAs) 11
  12. 12. Results, cont’d  Synthesis results:  Row planting has positive effect on yield  However, effects are not always significant  If significant, yield improvements – controlling for all other inputs - are between 12% and 17%.  On FTC plots, the impact goes as high as 22%  We tried different specifications, but no significant difference in results 12
  13. 13. Conclusions  Both farmer samples as well as FTC data show that row planting increases teff yields by between 10 and 20%  This increase is significant for yield declarations by farmers; The effect is much smaller and not significant in crop-cut data  Even if yields do not improve that much, farmers that practice row planting will still benefit because of lower seed rate. 13
  14. 14. Conclusions  This moderate increase in teff yield is in contrast with findings from demonstration sites and research station trials as well as farmers’ declared expectations.  Possibly explained by implementation problems, non-optimal land management, and exaggerated optimism on the potential of row planting.  As the data is from the first year of roll-out, results can improve with learning over time. 14
  15. 15. Policy recommendation  Most farmers are willing to continue using row planting but only on small fraction of their teff lands.  Low yield difference and continued practice of traditional broadcasting implies that: – more studies have to be done to assess on-farm constraints – scaling-up new agricultural technologies on a large scale has to proceed cautiously (allow for learning by farmers) – Study on labor productivity is crucial  One of the reasons for the gap in yield difference between FTC plots and the farmers is, inter alia, implementation problems. More needs to be done to improve outreach to farmers
  16. 16. Thank you! 16