There remains an unsettled question regarding the achievement of the African rice Green Revolution (GR): Must a region start from the adoption of basic farm management practices (e.g., seed selection, nursery bed set-up, field leveling, bund construction, and transplanting), many of which were already common in Asia at the time of its GR?
This study evaluated a randomized controlled trial (RCT) of training in such basic practices in remote rainfed lowland areas of Mozambique. The training employed two approaches: implementing farmer field schools in demonstration plots and promoting farmer-to-farmer social learning. The intention-to-treat (ITT) effect on the yield was 447–546 kg/ha (29%–36% of the control group average yield), with statistical significance at 7%–8%, regardless of the irregular rainfall conditions.
The results indicate that the adoption of basic practices alone can improve rice yield even without modern inputs such as modern varieties and inorganic fertilizer, which are not easily available in local markets in remote areas or accessible to cash-constrained farmers. We also found complementarity among the basic practices, indicating that they must be adopted as a package for effective yield improvement.
Keywords: Management training, extension systems, technology adoption, rice, Green Revolution