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By Marija

Senegal | Ländliche Kooperativen und Vertrauensbildung

Foto: A. Avdeenko

Hintergrund

Im Senegal haben wir mit dem International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI – Internationales Ernährungspolitikforschungsinstitut) zusammengearbeitet um anhand von randomisierten kontrollierten Studien Ausbildungs- und Vertrauensbildungsmaßnahmen zur Verbesserung von kleinbäuerlichen Organisationen zu evaluieren.

KKleinbauer*innen in Afrika müssen nicht nur gegen geringe Produktivität von Böden und landwirtschaftlichen Technologien kämpfen, sondern auch mit erheblichen Schwierigkeiten beim Verkaufen ihrer Produkte. Negative Skaleneffekte und begrenzte Marktmacht sind Hauptursachen von geringer Produktivität und relativ geringen Erträgen und führen zu Nachteilen bei Einkaufs- und Verkaufspreisen. Kleinbauernproduzentengesellschaften können diese Probleme teilweise verringern. Allerdings kämpfen etliche bäuerliche Kooperativen im Senegal mit geringer Beteiligung beim gemeinsamen Verkauf, da die Mitglieder nicht daran glauben, dass die Kooperative tatsächlich zu Verbesserungen führt.

Evaluation

Um die Wirksamkeit von kleinbäuerlichen Kooperativen im Senegal zu verbessern, wurden Trainings- und Vertrauensbildungsmaßnahmen durchgeführt und anschließend anhand von randomisierten kontrollierten Studien evaluiert. Vertrauensbildungsworkshops und Führungskräftetrainings unterschiedlicher Intensitäten wurden mit einer Kontrollgruppe verglichen. Die Workshops sollten zu Zuversicht und Vertrauen bei den Mitgliedern und den Leitern führen. Mit diesem Ziel haben wir die Workshops und die Zusammenstellung der teilnehmenden Personen variiert, um zu erfahren, wie sich Wissen und Vertrauen durch die Kooperative verbreiten. Es hat sich herausgestellt, dass Fortbildungsmaßnahmen die Wirksamkeit der Bauernkooperative verbesserten, indem sie das Vertrauen in Führungskräfte sowie in die anderen Mitglieder erheblich stärkten.

By Marija

Burkina Faso | Integrated soil fertility management

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.

By Marija

Zambia | Rural financial sector development

Background

In a large evaluation project for the Zambian government, the development of the rural financial sector is supported and assessed.

Zambia hosts a large rural population, which, given the low population density, is neither well served by the formal banking system nor by the microfinance sector. However, village savings and loan associations exist as informal savings clubs that provide access to credits.

Evaluation

To bolster these village institutions and to develop linkages to the formal financial sector, credit linkages and insurance components are introduced and evaluated via a large-scale randomized controlled trial in about 1000 communities

By Marija

Senegal | Rural cooperatives and trust building

Picture: courtesy of A. Avdeenko

Background

In Senegal we partnered with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) to evaluate – via a randomized control trial – training and trust building interventions meant to improve the functioning of rural smallholder organizations.

Smallholder farmers in Africa not only face low productivity of soils and agricultural technologies but also considerable obstacles in marketing their produce. Substantial diseconomies of scale and limited market power are main sources of low productivity and relatively low yields, and lead to disadvantages with respect to input and output prices. Smallholder producer organizations can alleviate some of these problems. Yet many farmer cooperatives in Senegal struggle with low participation of their members in group marketing. A lack of trust in the cooperative’s ability to obtain real improvements was identified as one reason for such limited involvement.

Evaluation

In order to improve the functioning of rural smallholder organizations in Senegal, training and trust building interventions were implemented and subsequently evaluated via a randomized control trial design. Trust-building workshops and leadership training of different intensities were tested against a control group. The workshops were intended to instill confidence and trust among the members and leaders. To this end, we varied the content of these workshops and also the composition of participants, including and excluding leaders as well as regular members of the cooperatives, also in order to learn how knowledge and trust spill over within the cooperative. It was found that training improved the functioning of the farmer cooperative by significantly increasing the trust in leaders and fellow members.

By Marija

Ethiopia | Saving products for smallholder farmers

Picture: courtesy of A. Avdeenko / A. Bohne

Background 

We partnered with a local microfinance institution and Mekelle University in Ethiopia to design and conduct a randomized controlled trial to test new saving products for farmers. In this area of the country, the majority of the population consists of smallholder farmers. These smallholder farmers are exposed to high levels of income volatility due to the agricultural cycle: they have high income in the harvest season and low income for the rest of the year. Household savings are therefore crucial to overcome financial hardships at some periods of the year and to enable farmers to make necessary investments in land and agriculture or other areas. Increased savings has been shown to improve a range of development outcomes (Karlan, Ratan and Zinman 2014). Previous research has found a number of reasons why people may be prevented from achieving their optimal savings level, many of them motivated by results from behavioral economics such as time-inconsistent preferences.

Evaluation 

The savings innovation takes into account the farmers’ agricultural and cash flow cycles, and seeks to nudge them to save some of their income for further investments. In collaboration with local partners, moneyboxes were randomly distributed to rural households, along with individually-tailored savings plans. Moreover, the participants were given specific recommendations regarding their savings goal amount. The aim of this project was to test for alternative barriers to savings, especially over- and under-confidence, and to see how they can be overcome using a simple and effective savings technology.

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Burkina Faso | Integratives Bodenfruchtbarkeits-management
Sambia | Entwicklung des ländlichen Finanzsektors
Äthiopien | Sparprodukte für Kleinbauern
Uganda | Zahlung bei Lieferung für Kleinbauern
Äthiopien | Umfassendes Bodenfruchtbarkeits-management
Burkina Faso | Integrated soil fertility management
Zambia | Rural financial sector development
Senegal | Rural cooperatives and trust building
Ethiopia | Saving products for smallholder farmers