A Multiple Interventions Approach to Increasing Technology Adoption with a View Towards Scaling-Up: Evidence from Mexico (MITA)
University of California - Los Angeles
Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico (Mexico); World Bank (US)
Aprajit Mahajan, Enrique Seira, Xavier Gine
Crop yields in much of the developing world remain below potential partly due to low adoption of profitable technological packages (e.g. improved seeds and fertilizer). In Mexico alone, average maize yields among smallholders without access to irrigation are below 2 tons/hectare, similar to those in Africa. We plan to implement an experimental evaluation of the Trust Funds for Rural Development’s (FIRA’s) Technological Guarantee Program (TGP) targeted at Mexican maize smallholders. The TGP hopes to increase maize yields among smallholders by simultaneously addressing the main barriers to adoption: risk aversion plus lack of formal insurance, credit constraints and lack of information. The program comprises five distinct interventions: a) a personalized soil analysis allowing for optimal input recommendations by agricultural extension workers (AEWs) who will monitor package application, b) credit to purchase recommended inputs, c) the provision of an income guarantee conditional on adoption intended to reduce adoption risk, d) financial incentives for AEWs based on farmer yields and finally e) the project will measure all inputs and non-farm activity in a comprehensive and detailed manner with multiple visits to farmers. We also plan to use the results from the evaluation to inform a similar intervention to be carried out in Africa.