Blanket advice on optimal fertilizer application rates has failed to achieve potential yield gains for crop production in much of Sub-Saharan Africa. However, digital technology now makes it possible to deliver personalized extension services to farmers at a much lower cost. We present results from a randomized control trial designed to evaluate the effectiveness of a mobile application that provides personalized advice on rice nutrient management. We find that households who were just given the personalized advice increase their yield by 7% and increase their profit by 10%. On average, personalized advice increases yields without increasing the overall quantity of fertilizer used. We conclude that the scaling of personalized extension services could improve productivity and livelihoods in Sub-Saharan Africa without necessarily increasing the total amount of fertilizer in use.
- decision support tools
- information and communication technology
- information interventions
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Economics and Econometrics