The study measures the impact of innovative models for delivering extension services to farmers. Through the Project for Agricultural Development and Economic Empowerment (PADEE), Cambodia’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries (MAFF) provided dedicated extension workers to work with farmers’ groups, and also developed software that allowed extension workers to provide personalised recommendations on seeds, fertiliser, and pest control. Some PADEE extension workers also received monetary incentives based on how effectively they disseminated information to their client farmers (measured using quizzes administered to farmers). The Agriculture Services Programme for Innovation, Resilience and Extension (ASPIRE) also involved extension workers working with farmers’ groups, but in addition, some farmers also received automated voice messages to their mobile phones with information on recommended farming practices.
The evaluation found that the ePADEE software aided extension workers in conveying rice farming recommendations to farmers, some of which were implemented. Although the evaluation found no effects of ePADEE on downstream outcomes like rice production and productivity, the programme increased adoption of recommended practices with respect to seed and fertiliser. The incentives to extension workers had no discernible effects. The ASPIRE phone calls were popular with farmers, who frequently listened to the entire messages and felt the messages were helpful for increasing their production. These effects were stronger when farmers received the calls multiple times. However, household surveys did not reveal any improvements in productivity as a result of the calls.
This study is an output of the Agricultural Innovation Thematic Window programme
Almanzar, M, Baral, S, de Brauw, A and Nakasone, E, 2019. Testing innovative approaches to extension in Cambodia: Using technology and incentives to improve the PADEE and ASPIRE projects, 3ie Grantee Final Report. New Delhi: International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie)
Testing innovative approaches to extension in Cambodia: Using technology and incentives to improve the PADEE and ASPIRE projects