Disseminating innovative resources and technologies to smallholders (DIRTS) in Northern Region, Ghana

Professor Chris Udry, Innovations for Poverty Action

Start: Jul 2014  | End: July 2017

Project webpage
Research Councils UK project page

In Ghana’s Northern Region, smallholder farmers who cultivate rainfed crops face significant risk and achieve just a fraction of potential yields. They can face weather shocks, chronically underinvest in input technologies, maintain limited liquid savings and may be food insecure.

Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA), the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the Savannah Agricultural Research Institute (SARI), the University of Development Studies (UDS) and the Ghana Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) will partner to examine the barriers to smallholder farmer adoption of intensified cultivation practices and risk management tools.

They will also measure the impact of three innovative, potentially scalable programmes on farm production and profitability, consumption and food security, intra-household labour allocation, asset holdings and rural household resilience.

The project will use randomised controlled trial methodology to measure the impact of providing assured rural access to:

  • improved information flows through Android-based extension applications;
  • improved-yield input technology packages at varying prices; and
  • commercial drought index insurance at varying prices.

The project will be implemented by the MoFA, and rigorously evaluated by IPA. On conclusion of the study, partners will widely disseminate evaluation results, demand curves, cost-benefit analyses, programmatic tools, policy recommendations and scale-up strategies.

c. Dr Kofi Boa/Center for No-Till Agriculture in Ghana

c. Dr Kofi Boa/Center for No-Till Agriculture in Ghana