Policy highlights:

  • Cash transfers to smallholder farmers are a common approach to improve rural livelihoods and agricultural productivity in developing countries. However, research shows that cash transfers alone have limited impact and suggests that an integrated approach would yield better and more sustainable results.
  • This paper examines the impacts of a graduation-style programme aimed at increasing agricultural production among smallholder farmers in Senegal. In this programme cash transfers are supplemented with expert-visits focusing on management advice as well as detailed farm management plans.
  • After one year of implementation the impact study found that the treatment that included a ‘farm management plan’ and cash transfer led to large increases in crop production and sales as well as in livestock ownership. Provision of the ‘farm management plan’ alone (without additional cash transfer) did not yield significant results.
  • The findings suggest that one-time cash transfers supplemented with support and guidance are the way forward for policy makers. However, as this study did not analyze the impact of cash transfer without additional support, this conclusion warrants further research.
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