Disseminating Innovative Resources and Technologies to Smallholders (DIRTS) in Northern Region, Ghana


Project Code:
Not Available

Start Date:

End Date:

CRSP Phase:
Phase 4




Lead University:

Other Partners:
University of Development Studies - UDS, Savannah Agricultural Research Institute -SARI, Ghana Ministry of Food and Agriculture - MoFA (Ghana); International Food Policy Research Institute - IFPRI, Innovations for Poverty Action - IPA (US)

Principal Investigator(s):
Dean Karlan, Christopher Udry (US); Saa Dittoh, Mathias Fosu, Shashidhara Kolavalli (Ghana)

Co-Principal Investigator(s):


In Ghana’s Northern Region, smallholder farmers cultivate rainfed crops, face significant risk of

weather shocks, chronically underinvest in input technologies, achieve just a fraction of potential yields,

maintain limited liquid savings and may be food insecure. Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA), the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the Savannah Agricultural Research Institute (SARI), the University of Development Studies (UDS) and the Ghana Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) will partner to examine the barriers to smallholder farmer adoption of intensified cultivation

practices and risk management tools, and measure the impact of three innovative, potentially scalable

programs on farm production and profitability, consumption and food security, intra-household labor allocation, asset holdings and rural household resilience. The Disseminating Innovative Resources and

Technologies to Smallholders (DIRTS) project will use the randomized controlled trial methodology to

measure the impact of providing assured rural access to (a) improved information flows through Android-based extension applications, (2) improved-yield input technology packages at varying prices,

and (3) commercial drought index insurance at varying prices. DIRTS will be implemented by MoFA, and rigorously evaluated by IPA. At the study’s conclusion, partners will widely disseminate evaluation

results, demand curves, cost-benefit analyses, programmatic tools, policy recommendations and scale-up



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