Show and Tell: Impacts of Farmer Field Days on Learning about Inputs with Heterogeneous Yield Effects
63 Pages Posted: 10 Jan 2020 Last revised: 4 Feb 2021
Date Written: November 25, 2019
Farmer field days (FFDs) are a tool often used in conjunction with farmer field schools in developing countries to transfer knowledge about new environmental or agricultural technologies and practices from trained farmers to others in their communities. However, studies thus far are few and show mixed results for the effectiveness of FFDs for information diffusion. To fill this gap in the literature, we conducted experimental auctions for agricultural inputs with a random sample of individuals from villages that held farmer-led FFDs for organic inputs in western Kenya. We identify the relationship between attendance at a FFD and willingness to pay (WTP) for organic inputs through a spatial instrument using homestead and FFD locations. Our causal results show significant and negative impacts of attendance at field days on WTP compared to non-attendees. This result is likely a result of heterogeneity in effectiveness of the inputs across demonstration plots, which creates uncertainty among field day attendees of the appropriateness of the inputs on their own soils, and thus shows limitations of farmer-led field days in some contexts.
Keywords: information transfers, agricultural extension, farmer field days, Kenya, agriculture, technology adoption
JEL Classification: Q12, O13, Q24, D83, C93
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation