Agricultural Innovation Evidence Programme

Tran Thi HoaWorld Bank

Despite the availability of agricultural technologies, few smallholder farmers in developing economies adopt new inputs and practices. One of the factors preventing this is the lack of effective knowledge dissemination. Farmers also face different constraints along the value chain, including lack of financial resources and inadequate infrastructures or market inefficiencies, which can restrain farmers’ abilities to increase their productivity and limit their subsequent well-being.

3ie’s agricultural innovation evidence programme supports evaluations aimed at understanding how best to encourage farmers to adopt new inputs and practices.

Overview

Since 2012, 3ie has supported 13 rigorous policy-relevant impact evaluations and one formative evaluation of programmes that enhance agrarian livelihoods. We fund evaluations of interventions that encourage farmers to adopt new technologies, contribute to environmental sustainability, improve their socioeconomic well-being and increase their agricultural production. This evidence programme is a multi-stakeholder collaboration of the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.

What have we learned so far?

To capture lessons learned from implementing the programme, we have compiled some resources that might be useful for researchers, commissioners of evaluation and others.

Report | Summary of our learning workshops
3ie organised two learning workshops in partnership with AGRA and IFAD to share the findings, lessons and policy implications of the studies conducted. In November 2019, we co-organised the workshop with AGRA in Nairobi, and in February 2020, we partnered with IFAD in Rome. Read the workshop report

Brief: Managing and implementing impact evaluations: lessons from 3ie agricultural innovation grants
This learning brief draws from the preliminary challenges and lessons from the ongoing impact evaluations under 3ie’s agricultural innovation thematic window. These include lessons on study design and methodology, study implementation, and engagement during the course of an impact evaluation. It provides a point-in-time reference for researchers and evaluation commissioners to anticipate and mitigate some of the challenges associated with conducting impact evaluations of agricultural interventions. Read the brief

Blog: Bringing research down to earth
In this blog, Mark Engelbert, an evaluation specialist with 3ie shares his thoughts after a field visit to a 3ie-funded evaluation team in Malawi. Read the blog

Blog: Implementing impact evaluations: trade-offs and compromises
In this blog, Diana Milena Lopez Avila, a former evaluation specialist with 3ie shares insights after a workshop organised by 3ie and IFAD for the grant teams under the Agricultural Innovation Evidence Programme. Read the blog

Why is it difficult to evaluate agricultural programmes | Olivier Cossee
In this interview with 3ie, Olivier Cossee, senior evaluation officer at FAO discussed some key questions pertaining to impact evaluations of agricultural programs. He also stresses the importance of qualitative research and policy relevance of impact evaluations. Watch the video

Impact evaluation of a soil fertility programme in Ghana | Simrin Makhija
In this interview,3ie grantee Simrin Makhija talks about a 3ie-funded evaluation of an intervention to promote integrated soil fertility management among smallholder farmers in the Volta region of Ghana. Watch the video

Impact evaluation of a smallholder dairy commercialisation programme in Kenya| Juan Bonilla
In this interview, 3ie grantee Juan Bonilla talks about a 3ie-funded impact evaluation of small dairy commercialisation programme in Kenya. This programme was funded by IFAD under the rural development projects. Watch the video

Impact evaluation of an integrated soil fertility management practices in Malawi | Annemie Maertens
In this interview, 3ie grantee Annemie Maertens talks about early findings from a 3ie-funded impact evaluation in Malawi on the effects of these two primary models on farmer learning and adoption of integrated soil fertility management practices. Watch the video

Do farmers learn from extension services? Evidence from Malawi | Annemie Maertens
In this 3ie Delhi seminar, Annemie Maertens, senior lecturer in economics, University of Sussex, presented results from a 3ie-funded impact evaluation in Malawi on the effects of these two primary models on farmer learning and adoption of integrated soil fertility management practices. Watch the video

Related content

Assessing the impact of farmer field schools on fertiliser use in China

Impact evaluation 3ie 2015

In China, a major agricultural challenge is the inefficient use of fertilizer and the environmental effects associated with overuse.

Sustainability of impact: dimensions of decline and persistence in adopting a biofortified crop in Uganda

Impact evaluation 3ie 2016

This study by McNiven S, Gilligan, DO and Hotz C, studied the sustainability of impact of an agricultural intervention that promoted the adoption and consumption of biofortified orange sweet potato

Making networks work for policy: evidence from agricultural technology adoption in Malawi

Impact evaluation 3ie 2016

This report by Beaman et al. tests training diffusion partners chosen using a theory-based selection approach and whether it leads to greater adoption of new agricultural technologies in Malawi.

Evaluating agricultural information dissemination in western Kenya

Impact evaluation 3ie 2018

This impact evaluation by Fabregas and colleagues examines the role of information in addressing the constraints smallholder farmers in Kenya face in adopting agricultural inputs.

Agricultural innovation: an evidence gap map

Evidence gap map 3ie 2017
This report outlines the main findings of an evidence gap map referring to agricultural inputs, practices and programmes aimed at improving farmers’ productivity and well-being.

Does information on agricultural technology encourage adoption?

Impact evaluation Brief 3ie 2018
This brief is based on the findings of an impact evaluation that examines the role of information in addressing the constraints smallholder farmers in Kenya face in adopting agricultural inputs.

The effect of demonstration plots and the warehouse receipt system on integrated soil fertility management adoption, yield and income of smallholder farmers: a study from Malawi's Anchor Farms

Impact evaluation 3ie 2020 Publication type : 3ie series report
Author : Annemie Maertens, Wezi Mhango, Hope C. Michelson
Sector : Agriculture fishing and forestry

Knowledge Heterogeneity: Experimental Evidence on Information Barriers to Oilseed Adoption in Uganda

Impact evaluation 3ie 2020 Publication type : 3ie grantee final report
Author : Mariapia Mendola, Harounan Kazianga, Jacopo Bonan, William Ekere
Sector : Agriculture fishing and forestry

Impacts of linking savings group to formal financial service providers and strengthening their internal group insurance mechanism in Zambia

Impact evaluation 3ie 2020 Publication type : 3ie series report
Author : Markus Frölich, Linh Nguyen
Sector : Agriculture fishing and forestry

Impact evaluation of the integrated soil fertility management dissemination programme in Burkina Faso

Impact evaluation 3ie 2020 Publication type : 3ie series report
Author : Adrien Bourguen, Markus Frölich, Estelle Koussoubé, Eugénie Maïga, Tereza Varejkova
Sector : Agriculture fishing and forestry

Evaluating Agricultural Information Creation And Dissemination In Western Kenya

Impact evaluation 3ie 2017 Publication type : 3ie series report
Author : Raissa Fabregas, Michael Kremer, Jon Robinson, Frank Schilbach
Sector : Agriculture fishing and forestry

An impact assessment of EAMDA's banana initiative to increase technology adoption by smallholder farmers in Kenya

Impact evaluation 3ie Publication type : 3ie-funded ongoing study
Author : Shyamal Chowdhury, Jane Kabubo Mariara, Munshi Sulaiman, Uttam Sharma,
Sector : Agriculture fishing and forestry

Strengthening soil management practices and access to markets among smallholder farmers in Malawi

Impact evaluation Brief 3ie 2020
This brief is based on an impact evaluation of the Anchor Farm Model, a programme that promotes the use of demonstration plots, farmer-based organisations and farmer field days, to adopt integrated soil fertility and management practices and improve farmers' access to markets in Malawi.

Using technology and incentives to test innovative approaches to agricultural extension in Cambodia

Impact evaluation Brief 3ie 2020
This brief presents findings of an evaluation that measures the impact of innovative models that use incentives, and information and communication technology to deliver extension services to farmers in Cambodia.

Impacts of linking savings group to formal financial service providers and strengthening their internal group insurance mechanism in Zambia

Impact evaluation 3ie 2020
Authors of this impact evaluation investigate interventions aimed at improving the effectiveness and sustainability of community-based financial institutions or saving groups and their inclusion in the formal financial system in Zambia.

Impact evaluation of the integrated soil fertility management dissemination programme in Burkina Faso

Impact evaluation 3ie 2020
Authors of this impact evaluation assess the effectiveness of the integrated soil fertility management practices to increase agricultural productivity and if demonstration plots, together with activities like trainings, videos, and so on can be used to promote the adoption of this practice in Burkina Faso.

The effect of demonstration plots and the warehouse receipt system on integrated soil fertility management adoption, yield and income of smallholder farmers: a study from Malawi’s Anchor Farms

Impact evaluation 3ie 2020
Authors of this impact evaluation assesses the impact of a programme that aims to encourage farmers, by promoting the use of demonstration plots, farmer-based organisations and farmer field days, to adopt integrated soil fertility and management practices and improve farmers’ access to output markets by negotiating advance guaranteed prices with commercial buyers.

Using voice reminders to reinforce harvest training in Mali

Impact evaluation Brief 3ie 2019
This brief is based on the findings of an impact evaluation that examined the effects of voice reminders delivered through mobile phones.

The effect of demonstration plots and the warehouse receipt system on integrated soil fertility management adoption, yield and income of smallholder farmers: a study from Malawi's Anchor Farms

Impact evaluation 3ie 2020 Publication type : 3ie series report
Author : Annemie Maertens, Wezi Mhango, Hope C. Michelson
Sector : Agriculture fishing and forestry

Knowledge Heterogeneity: Experimental Evidence on Information Barriers to Oilseed Adoption in Uganda

Impact evaluation 3ie 2020 Publication type : 3ie grantee final report
Author : Mariapia Mendola, Harounan Kazianga, Jacopo Bonan, William Ekere
Sector : Agriculture fishing and forestry

Impacts of linking savings group to formal financial service providers and strengthening their internal group insurance mechanism in Zambia

Impact evaluation 3ie 2020 Publication type : 3ie series report
Author : Markus Frölich, Linh Nguyen
Sector : Agriculture fishing and forestry

Impact evaluation of the integrated soil fertility management dissemination programme in Burkina Faso

Impact evaluation 3ie 2020 Publication type : 3ie series report
Author : Adrien Bourguen, Markus Frölich, Estelle Koussoubé, Eugénie Maïga, Tereza Varejkova
Sector : Agriculture fishing and forestry

Evaluating Agricultural Information Creation And Dissemination In Western Kenya

Impact evaluation 3ie 2017 Publication type : 3ie series report
Author : Raissa Fabregas, Michael Kremer, Jon Robinson, Frank Schilbach
Sector : Agriculture fishing and forestry

An impact assessment of EAMDA's banana initiative to increase technology adoption by smallholder farmers in Kenya

Impact evaluation 3ie Publication type : 3ie-funded ongoing study
Author : Shyamal Chowdhury, Jane Kabubo Mariara, Munshi Sulaiman, Uttam Sharma,
Sector : Agriculture fishing and forestry

The effects of training, innovation and new technology on African smallholder farmers’ wealth and food security

Systematic review 3ie 2015
This systematic review by Stewart and colleagues analyses the impact of several farming interventions on household income and food security among rural households. Included studies assess the effects of innovation and new technology interventions.

Agricultural innovation: an evidence gap map

Evidence gap map

This map, funded by the UK Department for International Development and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, presents existing evidence on agricultural inputs, practices and programmes aimed at improving farmers’ productivity and well-being. It further highlights prominent evidence gaps on cost-effectiveness, measurements of spillover effects and the use of experimental evaluation methods.

View report

There are no replication studies