Addressing institutional challenges to large-scale implementation

Imagine scaling up an agricultural project whose goal is to improve rural incomes by increasing rice yields. It has three components. The first is the introduction of a new high-yield strain of rice developed and delivered by the national Ministry of Agriculture (MOA). The second consists of organizing rice farmer associations to buy inputs and sell outputs as part of a value chain approach. This component is outsourced to local NGOs. The third component is the training of agricultural extension workers (AEWs) in value chains and cultivation of the new variety of rice to support the farmers associations. The AEWs are employed by local government units (LGUs) as part of a recent decentralization. Many LGUs in the project area have chosen to hire an insufficient number of AEWs—their salaries come out of the LGUs’ budgets—and those that have been hired have not received even basic agricultural training. Because of this, prior to training in high-yield rice and value chains, the project sponsors had to pressure LGUs to hire AEWs as a condition of participation and had to provide generic training in agriculture. Assume for this example that the intervention itself has been rigorously evaluated as successful at small scale and merits scaling up to a number of provinces with concentrations of poor rice farmers.

This brief is one of series on scaling up in agriculture, rural development, and nutrition.

Kohl, Richard
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International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
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