DP10743 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, David Yanagizawa-Drott|
|Publication Date:||August 2015|
|Keyword(s):||agriculture, substandard inputs, technology adoption|
|JEL(s):||O13, O33, Q16|
|Programme Areas:||Development Economics|
|Link to this Page:||cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=10743|
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%.