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Implementation Completion Report (ICR) Review - National Agricultural Extension And Research Program Support Project


  
1. Project Data:   
ES Date Posted:
03/25/2005   
PROJ ID:
P045348
Appraisal
Actual
Project Name:
National Agricultural Extension And Research Program Support Project
Project Costs(US $M)
 35.8  28.3
Country:
Cameroon
Loan/Credit (US $M)
 15.1  14.7
Sector, Major Sect.:
Agricultural extension and research, Central government administration, Other social services, Agricultural marketing and trade,
Agriculture fishing and forestry; Law and justice and public administration; Health and other social services; Industry and trade
Cofinancing (US $M)
 10.5  4.5
L/C Number:
C3137      
   
Board Approval (FY)
  99
Partners involved
IFAD, AfDB 
Closing Date
06/30/2003 06/30/2004
         
Prepared by: Reviewed by: Group Manager: Group:  
John R. Heath
Roy Gilbert Alain A. Barbu OEDSG

2. Project Objectives and Components:

a. Objectives

(i) Improve agricultural productivity of men and women farmers; and
(ii) Ensure that resource poor and women food crop producers' problems are fully integrated in extension activities.
(Design Summary, Project Appraisal Document)

b. Components

(i) Agricultural Extension (Expected cost, US$26.1 million; Actual cost, US$19.2 million). Includes transfer of technology packages, particularly to women farmers, and delivery of improved seeds.
(ii) Agricultural Research (Expected, US$4.3 m.; Actual, US$2.5 m.). Includes support to on-station research, staff training and introduction of a demand-driven, competitive grant scheme.
(iii) Training and Human Resources Development (Expected, US$3.9 m.; Actual, US$3.8 m.). Comprises support to in-service training and rehabilitation of agricultural colleges.
(iv) Farmer Organization Support and Private Sector Linkages (Expected, US$0.5 m.; Actual, US$2.1 m.). Links farmers' groups to merchants, suppliers and NGOs to improve input supply and marketing.
(v) Village-Based Participatory Community Development (Expected, US$0.4 m.; Actual, US$0.2 m.). Pilots an approach that allows villages to set development priorities, implement action plans and obtain assistance from service providers.
(v) Monitoring and Evaluation (Expected, US$0.6 m.; Actual, US$0.5 m.). Includes an external evaluation of project impact.

c. Comments on Project Cost, Financing and Dates

Component (iv) was expanded at mid-term to include provision of small grants for production, processing, storage and marketing subprojects. Although AfDB financed a research component this is not covered by the ICR, which solely focuses on IFAD's contribution. Only 42 percent of IFAD financing was disbursed because the intended purchase of motorcycles was canceled, and, in view of repayment arrears, IFAD did not support the extension of the closing date. The one-year delay in credit closing is not explained in the ICR but may be a consequence of the slow start with the research component and the tardy release of counterpart funds.


3. Achievement of Relevant Objectives:

(i) Improve agricultural productivity (Achieved). Yield increases for the various crops averaged more than the appraisal target of 10 percent and the economic rate of return was re-estimated at 41 percent (compared to 42 percent at appraisal). (The economic analysis on which this is based draws on a beneficiary assessment which included questionnaire interviews with 1,492 producers). An impact study reviewed 36 new technologies, determining that for 28 of these adoption rates by contact groups exceeded the appraisal target of 62 percent.
(ii) Benefit the resource poor and women farmers (Achieved). While there was no formal targeting, by virtue of the project's wide coverage (50 percent of all farmers reached via contact groups, 80 percent if outreach via the mass media is included) it is fair to assume that many poor farmers were served. The beneficiary assessment showed that 93 percent of women in the project zones received assistance from the project. About 40 percent of the subprojects implemented were geared to the needs of women, exceeding the 30 percent that was expected. Outreach to women farmers may be more likely if female extension agents are recruited. At appraisal the aim was to have 1690 field extension agents in place by the end of the project, 200 of them female; the actual achievement was 1,407 agents, of which 189 were women.


4. Significant Outcomes/Impacts:

  • Improvements to the extension service exceeded targets (e.g. the 58,699 contact groups created represented at least 50 percent of all farm families compared to the appraisal target of 30 percent).
  • 879 farmers received training in seed multiplication.
  • Following midterm 1,277 subprojects were grant-funded, providing equipment and small-scale infrastructure to producer organizations (the target was to provide 700 subproject grants).
  • The project strengthened the formation of producer groups and promoted c ommunity-led development planning: 474 contracts were signed between producer groups and private sector representatives for the provision of credit, inputs and marketing services (the appraisal target was 100 contracts).
  • A pilot operation aimed to help 70-100 villages to prepare community development plans; when the credit closed 320 villages had prepared plans---the results of this pilot fed into preparation of a broader community development program.

5. Significant Shortcomings (include non-compliance with safeguard features):

  • Research services appear to have been less satisfactorily strengthened than extension. (The research component was funded by AfDB and was only partly covered by this ICR). Supervision reports up to 2002 rated implementation of the research component as unsatisfactory. Linkages between research and extension are weak.
  • The delayed start of the competitive research grants program made it impossible to fully develop new technologies ready for use by producers.
  • NGOs proved to be less capable than expected as agricultural service providers; the project could have invested more in training these organizations.
  • 6. Ratings:ICROED ReviewReason for Disagreement/Comments
    Outcome:
    SatisfactorySatisfactory
    Institutional Dev.:
    SubstantialSubstantial
    Sustainability:
    LikelyLikely
    Bank Performance:
    SatisfactorySatisfactoryQuality at Entry was rated unsatisfactory by QAG but the project design was subsequently strengthened to address initial concerns that the approach was not sufficiently demand-driven.
    Borrower Perf.:
    SatisfactorySatisfactory
    Quality of ICR:
    Satisfactory

    7. Lessons of Broad Applicablity:

    • Provision of grant-funding for productive equipment and infrastructure can fruitfully be combined with attempts to strengthen farmer organizations and boost incomes: in this case, the infrastructure provided helped to increase farmer solidarity while enabling them to increase farm output and revenues.
    • It is both fiscally prudent and developmentally effective to move from a mass saturation (T&V) style of agricultural extension to one that targets registered producer groups; in the long run, demonstration effects may encourage persons outside these groups to adopt new technologies.
    • If the private sector and NGOs are to deliver extension services effectively there often needs to be some previous initiative to strengthen their financial and managerial capacities.

    8. Audit Recommended?  Yes

              Why?  It would be useful to revisit the project in 3-5 years time to see if the promising institutional development results have been maintained and whether the caveats about research expressed in Section 5 above have proved to be critical constraints on the quality of extension messages delivered.

    9. Comments on Quality of ICR:


    The report gives a frank and thorough account of the project's achievements.

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