Abstract

Inadequate learning is an oft-cited friction impeding the adoption of improved agricultural technology in the developing world. We provide experimental evidence that farmer field days — an approach used throughout the world where farmers meet, learn about new technology, and observe its performance — alleviate learning frictions and increase adoption of an improved seed by 40 percent. Further analysis demonstrates that these field days are both cost effective and more impactful for poorer farmers. In contrast, we find no evidence that selecting the first adopters of new technology via participatory village meetings has any effect on future adoption.

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