Area mismeasurement impact on farmers’ input choices and productivity

By William J. Burke, Stephen N. Morgan, Thelma Namonje, Milu Muyanga and Nicole M. Mason

  • Comparing self-reported to GPS measurements, we find farmers frequently mis-state the size of their fields in survey data
  • Although errors are often made in either direction on all field sizes, we find evidence that, on average, smaller fields tend to overstate and larger fields tend to understate actual field size.
  • Input application rates are more consistent with self-reported area than GPS-measured area, suggesting farmers believe the inaccurate data they provide.
  • Productivity itself and productivity measurement are hampered by area measurement errors in self-reported data, highlighting important deficiencies in data collection and farmer training.

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