Impacts of a donor-funded extension service on small farmers in the Mutasa district of Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe has a pluralistic agricultural extension system. In addition to the public extension service, donors contract private service providers to deliver a range of extension services in specific project areas. This study focuses on extension services delivered by a local agribusiness firm and funded by USAID in the Mutasa district of Zimbabwe’s Manicaland province. The purpose is to assess the impact of these services on household outcomes such as farm income, and perceived benefits such as improved diet, health, child education, savings and access to support services. The study analyses survey data gathered from 94 client and 90 non-client rural households in June 2014. Propensity score matching was used to identify an appropriate control group within the group of non-clients. Descriptive statistics were compared across the control and client groups, and the impact of the extension service on each outcome estimated using two-stage least squares regression with instrumental variables to account for selection bias. The results show that outsourced extension services contributed significantly to household crop income, net crop income and expenditure on farm inputs and services. In addition, clients perceived a range of socio-economic benefits such as improved food security and better access to support networks. The financial costs and benefits of these services will be assessed in a second paper.... [Show full abstract]
Fields of Research160804 Rural Sociology; 070106 Farm Management, Rural Management and Agribusiness
TypeConference Contribution - Published (Conference Paper)
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