Topic: Rainfall Insurance, Agricultural extension, Information asymmetry, and Small-holder farmer adoption practices in the Northern Region of Ghana
Date: 20th March 2020
Time: 10.00 a.m.
Venue: ISSER Seminar Room 11
We report the results of a 4-year RCT in the former Northern Region that provided rainfall index insurance, community-based agricultural extension services, improved access to agricultural input markets, and information on crop prices and short-run weather forecasts to small-scale farmers. We show that the insurance and extension treatments led farmers to adopt recommended agricultural practices and increase the use of fertilizer inputs. However, there is little evidence that these changes improved farmer outcomes, on average. Using machine-learning techniques, we show that there is evidence that treatment effects are heterogeneous, strongly depending upon the realizations of rainfall and temperature.
Professor Udry is Robert E. and Emily King Professor of Economics at Northwestern University. He was previously Professor of Economics at Yale University. He is a development economist whose research focuses on rural economic activity in sub-Saharan Africa. He has conducted extensive field research in West Africa on technological change in agriculture, the use of financial markets, asset accumulation and gift exchange to cope with risk, gender relations and the structure of household economies, property rights and a variety of other aspects of rural economic organization. He is also the PI on the Ghana socio-economic Panel Survey. He spent two years as a secondary school teacher in northern Ghana, and has been a visiting scholar at Ahmadu Bello University in Nigeria and at the University of Ghana, Legon. At Yale, Udry directed the Economic Growth Center and served as the Chair of the Department of Economics. He also previously served as IGC Research Programme Director for Firms.