The purpose of this paper is to investigate the impact of the Integrated Household Extension Program (IHEP) on participant households’ welfare and see the policy effectiveness. The government of Ethiopia – in contrast to the majority of countries in Sub-Saharan Africa – invests heavily in agricultural extension but very little empirical evidence is available on the impact of the services on farm performance and household welfare that could justify these investments. The IHEP program is a particularly interesting case as it is an example on how agricultural extension systems in developing countries changed during the past two decades, from centralized top-down technology-transfer-orientated approaches to decentralized, participatory and more integrated approaches.
The authors use household survey data from 730 farm households (361 treated and 369 control) in the Tigray region of Ethiopia and propensity score matching methods to estimate the impact.
The authors find that the extension program had a large positive impact on household welfare – increasing income with about 10 percent – and on investment but have not impacted on income diversification. In addition to the main variable of interest (extension), household characteristics, such as household head age, gender, adult labor availability in the household, asset holdings and social capital variables were found to have an influence on income, investment and income diversification.
The paper has tried to assess the impact of a program which claiming substantial public money using primary data. Hence, the findings will serve to inform policy makers as how the program is running.
Gebrehiwot, K.G. (2015), "The impact of agricultural extension on households’ welfare in Ethiopia", International Journal of Social Economics, Vol. 42 No. 8, pp. 733-748. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSE-05-2014-0088Download as .RIS
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