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Study Overview

The impact of contractual partnerships on small-scale rice growers in Ghana
Study is 3ie funded:
Study ID:
Initial Registration Date:
Last Update Date:
Study Status:
GADCO, one of the major rice producers in Ghana, has set up the Copa Connect Smallholder Program (CCSP) for smallholder rain-fed and irrigated rice farmers in the Volta and Eastern Regions of Ghana. Program participants are offered fertilizer, crop protection chemicals, extension services, and mechanization on credit and in exchange give GADCO exclusive rights to purchase their rice crop at the end of each harvest season. This study is designed as a randomized controlled trial impact evaluation of CCSP with roughly 1,600 farmers of which 30% are female. Key research questions include (i) What is the economic and social impact of participation in the outgrower scheme on these smallholder farmers? (ii) Specifically, what are the impacts on technology adoption, knowledge transfer, productivity and profits, net indebtedness and credit constraints, the distribution of resources (e.g. labor and inputs) and income within the household, investment in the human capital of children (health and education), intra-household relationships, and income diversification? (iii) How are these impacts different for male vs. female farmers?
Registration Citation:
Agriculture and Rural Development
Private Sector Development
Additional Keywords:
Impact evaluation, Randomized Control Trial, PPPs (Public-private partnerships), Outgrower Schemes
Secondary ID Number(s):
Innovations for Poverty Action project 1007, and name GCAP Accra Plains Rice Farmers. This study is a part of the World Bank’s Ghana Commercial Agriculture Project (P114264).

Principal Investigator(s)

Name of First PI:
Daniel Ayalew Ali; Derick Bowen; Klaus Deininger; Markus Goldstein; Tricia Koroknay-Palicz; Angeli Kirk
World Bank; World Bank; World Bank; World Bank; World Bank; University of California at Berkeley
Name of Second PI:;;;;

Study Sponsor

Study Sponsor Location:
United States

Research Partner

Name of Partner Institution:
Innovations for Poverty Action
Type of Organization:
United States

Intervention Overview

The COPA-Connect Smallholder Program (CCSP) is an “out-grower” program introduced by Global Agri-Development Company (GADCO) to complement its nucleus rice farm. CCSP is operating in Ghana’s Accra Plains area, specifically amongst smallholder farmers who have irrigated rice plots within the Kpong and Weta Government of Ghana irrigation schemes. Under CCSP, these smallholder farmers are offered the opportunity to enter into a contractual partnership with GADCO. A farmer who signs a CCSP contract receives inputs on credit for planting, fertilizer application, and crop protection as well as extension advisory services and mechanized harvesting. On harvesting the rice, GADCO buys the output, accounts for input costs, and then pays the farmer the difference between the value of output and input cost. Farmers receive a split payment, including a fixed market-competitive payment at harvest time and a profit sharing payment after GADCO’s final sale.
Theory of Change:
Multiple Treatment Arms Evaluated?

Implementing Agency

Name of Organization:
Global Agri-Development Company (GADCO)
Type of Organization:
Private for profit organization

Program Funder

Name of Organization:
Global Agri-Development Company (GADCO)
Type of Organization:
Private for profit organization

Intervention Timing

Intervention or Program Started at time of Registration?
Start Date:
End Date:
Evaluation Method

Evaluation Method Overview

Primary (or First) Evaluation Method:
Randomized control trial
Other (not Listed) Method:
Additional Evaluation Method (If Any):
Other (not Listed) Method:

Method Details

Details of Evaluation Approach:
From an initial listing of all Kpong and Weta irrigation scheme plot cultivators that met the CCSP program’s eligibility criteria, 1600 were randomly selected to take part in this study. Following completion of the baseline, 50 percent of study sample farmers will be randomly assigned to the treatment group and invited to participate in CCSP, and 50 percent to a comparison group that will not participate in CCSP until after the impact evaluation is complete. The randomization was stratified on gender; status as a renter or owner of the plot; irrigation scheme (Kpong or Weta); and number of Kpong and Weta irrigation scheme plots for which the person is a plot-cultivator. Survey data will be collected from study participants during a baseline survey; during and about each growing season following the commencement of the CCSP program; and as part of a final endline survey. This impact evaluation will look at the impact of the contracts on farmers’ productivity, quality of life and intra-household gender dynamics. The study will do this by comparing those individuals randomly assigned to the treatment group, to those randomly assigned to the comparison group.
Outcomes (Endpoints):
This evaluation will look at the impact of the contracts on farmers’ productivity, quality of life and intra-household gender dynamics. Researchers will measure, for example, crop production, yield, profits, sale price, extension, technology adoption, hired and family labor use, and market access. With regard to impact on the household, researchers will look at indicators such as labor and time use, employment, business activities, assets and household investments in education and health. In addition, the study will assess the impacts on male versus female farmers.
Unit of Analysis:
Individual plot-cultivator
PRIMARY HYPOTHESIS: Participation in the outgrower scheme will increase smallholder yield and profits per hectare. STEPS MEASURED ALONG THE CAUSAL CHAIN: Participation in the outgrower scheme (A) will increase smallholder adoption and appropriate usage of new or improved technologies in terms of the type and value of fungicide, insecticide and herbicide applied, the quantity of fertilizer applied per hectare, and the use of mechanized harvesting; (B) will increase adoption of new or improved cultivation techniques, such as transplanting, and result in adjustment to the timing of cultivation activities; (C) may impact smallholder net indebtedness; reduce credit constraints; and increase use of credit; (D) may affect price received per unit of output; as well as who they sell to, whether they are able to sell as much as they want, and the timing of selling and receipt of payment. HETEROGENEITY / SUB-GROUP ANALYSIS By irrigation scheme; # of irrigated plots held; owner or rent; nature of rental agreement; soil quality and land improvements; gender; education/literacy; household composition and status within household; wealth; credit constraints; indebtedness; personality.
Unit of Intervention or Assignment:
Individual plot-cultivator
Number of Clusters in Sample:
Number of Individuals in Sample:
Size of Treatment, Control, or Comparison Subsamples:
Expected: 800 in control; 800 in treatment

Supplementary Files

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Outcomes Data

Household survey: a longer survey collected at end of evaluation period; and shorter "high frequency" surveys collected throughout the evaluation period.
Data Already Collected?
Data Previously Used?
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Data Obtained by the Study Researchers?
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Treatment Assignment Data

Participation or Assignment Information:
Data Obtained by the Study Researchers?
Data Previously Used?
Data Access:
Data Obtained by the Study Researchers?
Data Approval Process:
Approval Status:

Data Analysis

Data Analysis Status:

Study Materials

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Registration Category

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

Completion Overview

Intervention Completion Date:
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Unit of Analysis:
Clusters in Final Sample:
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Preliminary Report:
Preliminary Report URL:
Summary of Findings:
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Data Availability

Data Availability (Primary Data):
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Other Materials

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Description of Changes:

Study Stopped