Learning and collaborating towards improved living standards: A field experiment with Nigerian smallholder farmers

Project: PhD

Project Details


The vegetable sector is crucial to smallholder farming households in Kaduna and Kano states in Nigeria, but poor agronomic practices and unfavorable environmental conditions hinder its development. This leaves many households struggling with food insecurity, nutrient deficiency, and poverty. Improved vegetable seed varieties and agronomic practices have been empirically proven to boost agricultural productivity and improve economic livelihoods. Agricultural extension services play a vital role in disseminating these agricultural innovations to smallholder farmers. Yet, limited access to them obstructs participation, negatively affecting adoption and diffusion rates among farming communities. Research also proves that this limited access is heavier for women. In addition, societal gender norms, religion, and culture exacerbate women's disadvantaged position in accessing extension services, further reducing their agency. It is also essential that women’s agency in agricultural households is not restricted to the production aspect – which only increases their labor burdens combined with household responsibilities and child care – but also transcends to making strategic decisions for the farm and household. Further, the lack of cooperation among spouses in intrahousehold decision-making makes it difficult for households to maximize efficient outcomes for the family. This study investigates if agricultural extension messages and education against societal norms that decrease collaboration between couples can improve smallholder farmers' vegetable production and stimulate joint decision-making to improve their overall living standards.
Effective start/end date1/01/23 → …


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