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Study Overview

Rural Income Through Exports (PRICE): Comparing a coffee and a horticulture cash crop promotion scheme in Rwanda
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Study Status:
In Development
How best to improve agricultural household income in the developing world remains an open question. In Rwanda, the International Fund for Agricultural Development focused their efforts on both coffee and horticulture crop promotion. Implemented simultaneously, these separate intervention arms provide a mechanism for us to explore the effectiveness of cash crop promotion schemes from a more traditional and a more innovative approach. To address the effectiveness of these interventions we conducted two impact evaluations and will compare the results. The coffee intervention was designed to address training, governance, and production constraints, with all activities working through the coffee cooperatives. The horticulture intervention focused on providing access to financial resources for farmers with the acumen to develop their own business plans. We will exploit these alternative approaches to agricultural development to compare the economic status of intervention recipients.
Agriculture and Rural Development
Additional Keywords:
agriculture, development, crop promotion, coffee, horticulture
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Principal Investigator(s)

Name of First PI:
Benjamin Wood
Name of Second PI:
Tim Balint

Study Sponsor

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Research Partner

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Type of Organization:
United States

Intervention Overview

Of the five PRICE intervention components, we focus on coffee, horticulture and financial services. PRICE's approach builds on agricultural commercialization, which is considered one of the main sources of poverty reduction for small farmers in the developing world. These activities strengthen farmers’ positions in value chains through cash commodities, resource allocation and selling agricultural outputs. These interventions target smallholder farmers. The coffee development component supports farmers through activities related to production, processing and marketing. While the horticulture development component is mainly focused on a new business models through financial and non-financial business development services. This study will focus on the Turnaround program (TAP) for coffee and on matching grants for horticulture. The main TAP objective was to improve the management of cooperatives and technically support their coffee washing stations to achieve higher profits for their members. PRICE facilitated access to finance to horticulture farmers by lending through matching grants, where qualified smallholders are given loans that are forgiven after repaying 50% of the de
Theory of Change:
PRICE’s theory of change is driven by the challenges and opportunities around coffee and horticulture farming in Rwanda. The Rwandan coffee sector is characterized by smallholder farmers who often lack the knowledge and productive capacity to consistently obtain a high yield, high quality product. Coffee Washing Stations (CWS), a mechanism for increasing coffee quality, are often improperly managed. The project increases the production and quality of coffee and invests in CWS to move smallholder farmers up the value chain. For horticulture, the main challenge is the high level of informal business arrangements; with the majority of Rwandan horticulture crops being consumed or sold to informal markets. Against this backdrop finance institutions were reluctant to loan to smallholder horticulture farmers. With a growing demand for horticulture products, PRICE targets finance institutions to encourage lending to promising horticulture projects. We expect these outputs to increase farmers’ production and quality of coffee and horticulture, and thus secure economic returns. Increasing farmers income may lead to additional impacts, such as improved food security, improved resilience, higher asset accumulation and reduced seasonal migration. The causal pathways are implicitly contingent upon assumptions including: activity appropriateness, sufficient activity demand, farmer capacity, sufficient product demand, and targeting of rural women. For project impact sustainability, we assume that farmers and other stakeholder will not alter their behavior and motivation upon project completion. Although our study focuses on TAP for coffee and horticulture matching grants, we will capture other dimensions in these areas such as the effects of marketing, branding and promotion. This will help us to establish evidence on whether receiving more than one intervention affects the magnitude of the impact of the interventions of interest.
Multiple Treatment Arms Evaluated?

Implementing Agency

Name of Organization:
Type of Organization:
Public Sector, e.g. Government Agency or Ministry

Program Funder

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Type of Organization:
Public Sector, e.g. Government Agency or Ministry

Intervention Timing

Intervention or Program Started at time of Registration?
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Evaluation Method

Evaluation Method Overview

Primary (or First) Evaluation Method:
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Additional Evaluation Method (If Any):
Other (specify)
Other (not Listed) Method:
RDD for horticulture and Difference in difference for coffee

Method Details

Details of Evaluation Approach:
Given the large number of cooperatives and the limited amount of access to the program for the coffee intervention, we developed our counterfactual by comparing farmers within treated cooperatives to similar farmers who belonged to cooperatives without access to the program. We will employ a two stage matching procedure, first at the cooperative level and then determining similar farmers within those cooperatives. We are planning to use a regression discontinuity design to assess the impact of the matching grants on horticulture farmers given that the assigned scores could be used to create the counterfactual for our two levels of treatment (382 applicants). The first level includes those who applied, were endorsed but did not receive the matching grant (205 applicants). The second level includes those who applied, were endorsed and received the grant (177 applicants). Regarding coffee cooperatives, we are collecting time series data from 2010 to 2017, which should allow us to assess the impact of the intervention on cooperatives' technical, governance and financial statuses in a difference-in-differences (DID) framework.
Outcomes (Endpoints):
Primary endpoints: Income, assets, cooperative governance structure, access to financial services Secondary endpoints: Food security, school enrollment, seasonal migration, women's empowerment, farm production, crop quality
Food Insecurity Experience Scale: we are following the FAO's methodology to construct this scale based on people’s direct yes/no responses to eight brief questions regarding their access to adequate food.
Unit of Analysis:
Coffee: cooperatives and households; Horticulture: households
Primary questions: 1. Does the project lead to significantly increased farmers' income for coffee producers? 2. Does the project lead to significantly improved cooperatives' governance, financial and technical situations? 3. Does the project lead to significantly increased farmers' income for horticulture producers? 4. Conditional on increased income, how does the project indirectly affect patterns of food and seasonal migration, resilience and assets accumulation for coffee and horticulture farmers households? Intermediate questions: a) Does the Turnaround program improve farmers' coffee production and quality? b) Does the Turnaround program improve cooperatives' access to markets? c) Does access to matching grants improve farmers' production and sales of horticulture crops? d) Does the exclusion from getting the matching grant negatively affect farmers' production and sales of horticulture crops?
Unit of Intervention or Assignment:
individuals and cooperatives
Number of Clusters in Sample:
Coffee: cooperatives and households; Horticulture: households
Number of Individuals in Sample:
Estimates, coffee: 2700 horticulture 2200
Size of Treatment, Control, or Comparison Subsamples:
Coffee: we split the treatment and control populations 50/50. Horticulture: we include the 382 selected horticulture farmers, with the control sample being selected from those who were not endorsed.

Supplementary Files

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Outcomes Data

We will collect cooperative and household surveys. We also hope to use existing administrative data and exploit some enumeration data. The household data IFAD collects will focus on agricultural, household, and community outcomes.
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Treatment Assignment Data

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Data Analysis

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Study Materials

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Registration Category

Registration Category:
Prospective, Category 1: Data for measuring impacts have not been collected

Completion Overview

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Preliminary Report:
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Data Availability

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Other Materials

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Study Stopped