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Study Overview

Grain Legume Cluster Development to Improve Pulses Farming in Bihar
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Despite India being the world's largest consumer of pulses, domestic supply falls far short of domestic demand. There are potentially untapped opportunities to improve take-up and production of pulses farming, especially in Bihar. In an experiment with 158 villages across 5 districts in Bihar, we study the effects of 3 program models of the Aga Khan Foundation and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Grain Legume Cluster Development Program on adoption, area, production, and use of best practices related to pulses farming. The program models vary in support and inputs provided to farmers which include seed, extension services, and demonstration plots.
Agriculture and Rural Development
Economic Policy
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Principal Investigator(s)

Name of First PI:
Daniel Stein
Name of Second PI:
Ellen Anderson

Study Sponsor

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Study Sponsor Location:
United States
Funding Proposal:

Research Partner

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Intervention Overview

Various inputs and extension support for pulses farming are provided to farm households across 158 villages and 5 districts in Bihar. This includes establishing demonstration plots to show best practices in pulses farming, establishing village-level farmer groups, distribution of free pulses seeds, and extension services such as farmer group trainings and information, education, and communication activities. IDinsight and implementers established 3 different program model, additive in the number and intensity of these interventions, which were randomly assigned to villages.
Theory of Change:
Although pulses are a source of vegetarian protein and a potentially viable source of income, there are various barriers farmers face in cultivating pulses. On the production side, these include but are not limited to lack of timely availability of certified seed and other inputs, lack of knowledge of best farming practices, and lack of knowledge on the nutritional and soil health benefits of pulses. In this vein, providing farmers with certified seed for timely planting will lead to higher take-up and production of pulses farming. Equipping farmers with knowledge of best practices such as line sowing, seed treatments, recommended types, amounts, and timing of application for fertilizer, weedicide/herbicide, insecticide, and fungicide, pest and disease mitigation, and timing of irrigation in accordance with crop stages will lead to higher adoption and production of pulses. Finally, knowledge of the benefits from pulses farming will convince farmers to either switch from other crops to pulses, plant pulses on otherwise fallow land, and/or mix and intercrop pulses with other crops.
Multiple Treatment Arms Evaluated?

Implementing Agency

Name of Organization:
Aga Khan Foundation (India)
Type of Organization:
NGO (International)

Program Funder

Name of Organization:
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Type of Organization:
NGO (International)

Intervention Timing

Intervention or Program Started at time of Registration?
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Evaluation Method

Evaluation Method Overview

Primary (or First) Evaluation Method:
Randomized control trial
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Method Details

Details of Evaluation Approach:
The evaluation consists of a four arm cluster randomized control trial. There are 3 treatment arms, one for each program model - high, medium, and low intensity, and one control group. An initial village meeting was held in all treatment groups and control in order to provide a sampling frame from farmer attendees. Randomization was done on the village level. Random assignment was stratified by block helping to provide balance across groups.
Outcomes (Endpoints):
Primary Outcomes: Take-up of pulses cultivation Areas under pulses cultivation Total pulses production Secondary Outcomes: Adoption of best practices related to pulses cultivation Cost effectiveness of the program models
Package of practices (PoP) adoption index will be constructed using binary variables for use of the farming practices promoted. The main variables will be demeaned and converted to effect sizes by dividing each observation by the variable’s control group standard deviation. The weight of each outcome will be equal to the sum of its row entries in the inverted covariance matrix.
Unit of Analysis:
Farmers will be more likely to adopt pulses cultivation under the high intensity model as compared to the medium intensity; farmers will be more likely to adopt under the medium intensity model as compared to low intensity; and famers will be more likely to adopt under low intensity as compared to control.
Unit of Intervention or Assignment:
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Size of Treatment, Control, or Comparison Subsamples:
Control – 59 villages; Treatment 1 – 32 villages; Treatment 2 – 34 villages; Treatment 3 – 33 villages

Supplementary Files

Analysis Plan:
IDinsight Bihar Pulses Pre-Analysis Plan.docx
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Outcomes Data

Household survey, randomly sampled from list of farmers who participated in a Kharif season agriculture discussion held by implementing NGO
Data Already Collected?
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Data Access:
Not restricted - access with no requirements or minimal requirements (e.g. web registration)
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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 3: Data for measuring impacts have been obtained/collected by the research team but analysis for this evaluation has not started

Completion Overview

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Preliminary Report:
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Data Availability

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Other Materials

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Description of Changes:

Study Stopped