Pull Mechanism Design. The pilot aims to create a sustainable, smallholder-inclusive market for maize that is free of aflatoxins (naturally occurring toxins that cause cancer) by incentivizing the adoption of a biocontrol called Aflasafe™, which effectively controls aflatoxins. Specifically, the pilot gives an incentive of $18.75 for every metric ton of Aflasafe-treated maize aggregated by participating solvers (maize aggregators) who work with smallholder maize farmers through outgrower arrangements.
Expected Impact. The pilot is expected to sustainably engage the private sector (maize aggregators) in the supply of aflatoxin-free maize, and raise awareness of aflatoxins as a problem and Aflasafe™ as an effective control among maize farmers and other maize value chain actors. The increased awareness about aflatoxins in turn is expected to result in increased demand for aflatoxin-free maize by smallholders and value chain actors resulting in improved health outcomes from consuming safer maize. Smallholders are also expected to benefit from increased yields and increased market demand and/or any direct financial incentives that maize aggregators provide them.
Evaluation Method. In Nigeria, Abt is conducting an experimental design—a randomized control trial—including six out of seven first-year solvers to measure the impact of the pilot on smallholder outcomes (adoption of Aflasafe and returns from maize production). For one of the solvers whose work cannot be assessed using a randomized control trial, Abt is using a quasi-experimental design. To assess impact of the pilot on market for aflatoxin free maize, we are applying the structure-conduct-performance paradigm (further described in the Evaluation Framework).
Evaluation Stage. Abt carried out the baseline before the 2015 planting season and will conduct the endline evaluation before the 2018 planting season.
Pull Mechanism Design. The Kenya pilot aims to create a sustainable market for, and foster development of, innovative on-farm storage solutions for smallholders; the solutions must effectively control pests causing post-harvest grain losses, specifically the Large Grain Borer (LGB). In the Rift Valley, the pull mechanism provides a one-time, $750,000 prize to any solver (technology provider) who sells 21,000 MT of capacity to smallholders. At the end of the pilot, all OFS providers in the Rift Valley and Eastern Province meeting the sales threshold of 21,000 MT receive proportional prizes.
Expected Impact. The pilot aims to improve smallholder food security by raising awareness about the role of OFS in reducing post-harvest losses and improving access to OFS. Adoption of OFS is expected reduce grain loss and make more grain available for consumption. It may also reduce smallholder households’ pesticide exposure to the extent that most of the OFS technologies do not require pesticide dusting. Finally, to the extent that the storage solutions allow smallholders to safely store grain for longer periods, it may allow them to sell grain at better prices, resulting in increased revenue.
Evaluation Method. In Kenya, Abt is using a comparative interrupted time series approach to assess the pilot’s impact on smallholders. This approach tracks the key outcomes – along with an outcome not affected by the AgResults pilot but which responds in the same way as key outcomes to other time varying factors – before and after the pilot. To assess impact of the pilot on the market for storage solutions, we are applying the structure conduct and performance paradigm.
Evaluation Stage. We carried out the first phase of the baseline in 2014, with reference to the 2013 harvest. The second phase of the baseline was in 2015, with reference to the 2014 harvest. The endline is scheduled for mid-2019.
Pull mechanism design. The Zambia Biofortified Maize Pilot aims to develop a market for biofortified provitamin A (PVA) maize products. The pilot provides incentives to solvers (commercial maize millers) for selling PVA products, particularly maize meal. Prizes are paid for sales above a certain threshold that increases over the five-year pilot. Other than the first year, where the incentive is $50 per metric ton of PVA maize sold, the total pool of incentives (ranging from $750,000 to $1 million) is paid out proportionate to the total quantity of PVA maize sold by the solvers.
Expected Impact. The pilot aims to catalyze the development of a sustainable, smallholder-inclusive market for PVA maize in Zambia and in doing so expects to create awareness about its health benefits. Consequently, the pilot is expected to increase consumption of PVA maize by smallholders, rural consumers and urban consumers and reduced Vitamin-A deficiency in these populations. In addition, smallholders may realize improved incomes from the sale of PVA maize should the increased demand lead to a market premium for PVA maize in the short run.
Evaluation Method. Factors specific to the Zambia pilot context make quantitative impact evaluation and causal attribution less feasible than with other AgResults pilots. Our approach in Zambia therefore relies more heavily on rigorous, qualitative research methods. For this pilot, we use a mixed methods approach involving structured case comparisons of smallholder farming households, the Structure, Conduct, Performance analytical framework to analyze the behavior of other value chain actors, and a repeat cross-sectional survey of urban consumers to assess trends in PVA maize consumption over time.
Evaluation Stage. The baseline was carried out in mid-2015 just before solvers’ involvement began; the endline is scheduled for late 2018.