C4EDC4ED

Project Description

Background

Together with the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), 3ie, and local partner GRAD we are involved in the impact evaluation of an integrated soil fertility management (ISFM) program in Burkina Faso.

Burkina Faso is a landlocked country in the Sahel and West Africa sub-region. In spite of agriculture being the main source of livelihoods for millions of people living in rural areas, agricultural productivity is very low in Burkina Faso. According to data from the 2008 agricultural census, yields of the main cereals are well below their potential. Several factors explain these low agricultural yields. They range from poor farming practices such as continuous monoculture to low use of agricultural inputs such as improved seeds and sustainable agricultural technologies.

Evaluation

With financial support by AGRA, Burkina Faso based GRAD Consulting Group launched a comprehensive program that targets farmer organizations across two provinces of the country. The first and main goal of the program is to disseminate ISFM technologies and subsequently increase their adoption rate. ISFM refers to a set of agricultural practices that combines use of inputs (improved varieties, organic and mineral fertilizers), relevant knowledge and improved land-use planning. In addition, GRAD strives to facilitate access to agricultural inputs and credit by establishing and supporting aggregation centers. The underlying idea of these programs is to strengthen farmer’s capacities.

The evaluation project specifically investigates the impact of dissemination activities, which are implemented through various channels including demonstration plots. By randomizing the demonstration plots among 100 farmer organizations we intend to examine the rate of adoption of both labor and capital intensive technologies among the demonstrator farmers’ close network, as well as program effects on agricultural yields and income.