Evaluation of Plantwise Kenya: Baseline Summary Report
Published: June, 2015
American Institutes for Research (AIR) is conducting a mixed-methods evaluation of PW-K in collaboration with American University and Research Solutions Africa. On the quantitative side, both primary data collection and the analysis of PW-K administrative data are used. The primary data collection includes a farm-level survey as well as a knowledge assessment of plant doctors. To measure the impacts of PW-K at the farm level, AIR designed a multi-site, longitudinal randomised controlled trial (RCT) in 13 counties in the country, relying on the plant clinic expansion plan that PW-K is implementing from 2014 to 2018. On the qualitative side, information is being collected at the national and local (county) level through both key informant interviews (KIIs) and focus group discussions (FGDs). Baseline data and two rounds of followup data (at 12 and 36 months) will be collected. The evaluation collected baseline data in 2014; this document reports on this baseline data collection and corresponding data analysis. A key purpose of this document is to report on whether the baseline data collection was successful in terms of gathering adequate data, and to describe the data that were collected. Since PW-K has been in operation for four years, a second objective is to offer preliminary insights into the study’s research questions, including (i) whether PW-K induces plant health system change, (ii) whether the process used in implementation influences its effectiveness, (iii) whether PW-K improves the wellbeing of farmers, and (iv) whether the benefits of PW-K justify its costs.
Worldwide, over 500 million smallholder farmers provide food for two-thirds of the earth’s growing population. Achieving a zero hunger world by 2030 depends on increasing the productivity of these smallholder farmers – but their crops face a significant threat. Yearly, an estimated 40% of crops grown worldwide are lost to pests. If we could reduce crop losses by just 1%, we could potentially feed millions more people. The lack of access to timely, appropriate and actionable extension advice makes it a fundamental challenge for farmers to get the right information at the right time to reduce crop losses.