Data Use Research Competition

Since 2021, the 50x2030 Initiative has been holding an annual Research Competition with the aim of promoting the use of data in rural and agricultural decision-making. In 2022, ten such projects received funding. The topics of these ten papers included information diffusion and adoption of agricultural technologies in Cambodia, crop commercialization and land productivity in Cambodia, roads and household income in rural Ethiopia, youth employment in rural non-farm enterprises in Ethiopia, gender inequalities in income and land access in rural Georgia, state support for wheat production in Georgia, resilience strategies to agricultural shocks in rural Senegal, seed and fertilizer subsidies in rice farming in Senegal, antibiotics use in livestock production in Uganda, and climate-smart agricultural practices and food security in Ugandan maize farming.

Three examples of the above-mentioned research papers from Georgia, Cambodia, and Senegal can be found below:

Title: Gender Inequalities in Income and Land Access Constrain Agricultural Productivity in Rural Georgia

Authors: Salome Kajaia, Irina Vardanashvili, Tamar Kinkladze, Maia Guntsadze

Country: Georgia

Summary, main findings, and policy implications:

This study focuses on gendered inequalities in income and land access, exploring their implications for women's economic empowerment and overall social and economic development in Georgia.

The study utilized the 2020 Agricultural Integrated Survey (AGRIS), a comprehensive dataset including 10,812 farm households, along with qualitative data from interviews with women farmers. Findings reveal several key points. Firstly, male-led households earn 4.8 times more income from selling agricultural products compared to female-led households, indicating significant profit disparities. Additionally, women farmers own 2.8 times less land than their male counterparts, hindering their economic opportunities.

The research highlights the heavy workload faced by women due to family care responsibilities, preventing them from dedicating sufficient time and resources to agricultural production. This includes their limited engagement in lucrative activities such as animal husbandry.

To address these challenges, the study suggests several policy implications. Firstly, increasing women's access to information, vocational education, and modern technologies is crucial for reducing inequality and creating better work opportunities in agriculture. Promoting access to sales markets and finances for women, as well as supporting their ownership of land, are essential steps towards empowering rural women. Lastly, increasing governmental support through state-funded resources, insurance schemes, and tailored program arrangements will enable women's eligibility in state programs and enhance their resilience in the face of natural disasters.

Title: Sources of Information Diffusion and Adoption of Agricultural Technologies: Evidence from Cambodia

Authors: Socheat Keo, Vathana Roth

Country: Cambodia

Summary, main findings, and policy implications:

This research focuses on examining the sources of information diffusion and adoption of agricultural technologies in Cambodia. The study utilizes data from the Cambodia Inter-Censal Agriculture Survey (CIAS) 2019, which includes over 13,326 agricultural households across 25 provinces.

The findings of the study reveal that access to agricultural extension services plays a crucial role in promoting the adoption of new technologies among farmers. It identifies a lack of knowledge as a significant barrier to the competitiveness and modernization of Cambodia's agriculture. The study highlights that information obtained from peers and traders significantly enhances farmers' willingness to adopt aromatic rice varieties, while the influence of agricultural information from the government and groups is limited.

Based on these findings, authors recommend that policymakers should prioritize strengthening social networks and relationships among farmers and other actors in the agricultural value chain. Strategies aimed at promoting the adoption of agricultural technologies should focus on leveraging the informal channels of information diffusion, such as peers and traders. Recognizing the limited resources of the government, policymakers should consider promoting extension services through these alternative channels. By emphasizing the exchange of agricultural information and building trust among farmers, these strategies can effectively facilitate the adoption of new technologies and contribute to the sustainable development of Cambodia's agriculture.

Title: Effect of Seed and Fertilizer Subsidies on the Technical Efficiency of Rice Farmers in Senegal

Authors: Mouhamadou Foula Diallo, Abdoulaziz Alhassane Garba

Country: Senegal

Summary, main findings, and policy implications:

This study examines the impact of input subsidies on the productivity of rice farmers in Senegal using data from the 2020-2021 Annual Agricultural Survey (Enquête Agricole Annuelle). For more than a decade, the Senegalese government has implemented a subsidy program to provide farmers with access to seeds and fertilizers at reduced prices. The study finds that access to subsidized seeds and fertilizers improves the technical efficiency of rice farmers, resulting in a potential increase of 45.5% in production while maintaining the same level of inputs. However, it is observed that older farmers and women experience higher levels of technical inefficiency. Senegal, being a major consumer of rice in West Africa, largely relies on imports to meet the demand. Despite the subsidy program, average rice yields struggle to exceed 4 tons per hectare. The study highlights the need to assess the effectiveness of the subsidy program in improving the performance of rice producers. In the case of women, for instance, targeted supports may be necessary alongside general subsidy programming. The study concludes that while subsidies can have both positive and negative effects, the use of certified inputs has the potential to enhance the technical efficiency of benefiting rice farmers. However, further research is needed to better understand the dynamics and optimize the impact of subsidies on agricultural productivity.