The Impact of “Grow to Sell” Agricultural Extension on Smallholder Horticulture Farmers: Evidence from a Market-Oriented Approach in Kenya
This paper evaluates the impact of a market-oriented agricultural extension program called Smallholder Horticulture Empowerment and Promotion (SHEP) in Kenya. The SHEP approach prioritizes practical training for farmers to act as producers in a market by encouraging decentralized decision-making. Using a cluster randomized controlled trial (RCT) over a two-year period, we find that, on average, SHEP increased horticultural income significantly by 70% and the positive effect was more pronounced in vulnerable households whose head of household is female, less educated or older. The effect is not relevant to horticultural experience prior to the intervention. Our findings suggest that a market-oriented agricultural extension can provide a pathway to improve the living standards of small-scale farmers through an increase in horticultural income.