Anna Folke Larsen

Ph.d.-forsvar: Anna Folke Larsen: "Agricultural technology adoption, food security, poverty and child health: Assessments of an agricultural intervention in Tanzania"

In this PhD dissertation I study different aspects of a Farmer Field School intervention taking place in northern Tanzania in three self-contained chapters. The first two chapters are coauthored with Helene Bie Lilleør. In the first chapter we assess the impact on food security and poverty among households who participated in the Farmer Field School project. We find that participating households become more food secure but we do not detect any impact on poverty.

In the second chapter we analyze whether the improved food security has affected child health in the participating households. We find that children who are young enough to have fully benefitted from the project become taller and that they are less likely to be undernourished.

The main component of the Farmer Field School project was the introduction of improved banana cultivation. In the third chapter I analyze how banana cultivation diffuses to non-participants in the project villages through networks. I find that a farmer who discusses farming issues with a project participant is much more likely to adopt improved banana cultivation. A plausible explanation for the large network effects found is that not only information, but also inputs for banana cultivation are shared in the networks.