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Discussion Paper Details

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Title: Low Quality, Low Returns, Low Adoption: Evidence from the Market for Fertilizer and Hybrid Seed in Uganda

Author(s): Tessa Bold, Kayuki Kaizzi, Jakob Svensson and David Yanagizawa-Drott

Publication Date: August 2015

Keyword(s): agriculture, substandard inputs and technology adoption

Programme Area(s): Development Economics

Abstract: To reduce poverty and food insecurity in Africa requires raising productivity in agriculture. Systematic use of fertilizer and hybrid seed is a pathway to increased productivity, but adoption of these technologies remains low. We investigate whether the quality of agricultural inputs can help explain low take-up. Testing modern products purchased in local markets, we find that 30% of nutrient is missing in fertilizer, and hybrid maize seed contains less than 50% authentic seeds. We document that such low quality results in negative average returns. If authentic technologies replaced these low-quality products, average returns for smallholder farmers would be over 50%.

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Bibliographic Reference

Bold, T, Kaizzi, K, Svensson, J and Yanagizawa-Drott, D. 2015. 'Low Quality, Low Returns, Low Adoption: Evidence from the Market for Fertilizer and Hybrid Seed in Uganda'. London, Centre for Economic Policy Research. https://cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=10743