Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

The impact of ICT-enabled extension campaign on farmers' knowledge and management of fall armyworm in Uganda.

Abstract

This study evaluates the unique and combined effects of three complementary ICT-based extension methods - interactive radio, mobile SMS messages and village-based video screenings - on farmers' knowledge and management of fall armyworm (FAW), an invasive pest of maize that is threatening food security in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. Building on a survey of maize farmers in western Uganda and using various selection-on-observables estimators, we find consistent evidence that participation in the ICT-based extension campaigns significantly increases farmers' knowledge about FAW and stimulates the adoption of agricultural technologies and practices for the management of the pest. We also show that exposure to multiple campaign channels yields significantly higher outcomes than exposure to a single channel, with some evidence of additive effects. These results are robust to alternative estimators and also to hidden bias. Results further suggest that among the three ICT channels, radio has greater reach, video exerts a stronger impact on the outcome measures, and greater gains are achieved when video is complemented by radio. Our findings imply that complementary ICT-based extension campaigns (particularly those that allow both verbal and visual communication) hold great potential to improve farmers' knowledge and trigger behavioural changes in the identification, monitoring and sustainable management of a new invasive pest, such as FAW.