BREAD Working Paper No. 515, July 2017

Grain Today, Gain Tomorrow: Evidence from a Storage Experiment with Savings Clubs in Kenya

Shilpa Aggarwal, Eilin Francis, Jonathan Robinson

Abstract

Staple food prices in rural Africa display predictable, sizeable seasonal price changes, from post-harvest troughs to lean season peaks. We experimentally evaluate a group-based grain storage scheme with 132 savings clubs in Kenya. Treatment clubs were offered a communal savings product in which farmers could deposit a fraction of their harvest, to be sold later in the season. Fifty-eight percent of farmers took up the product and treatment farmers were 23 percentage points more likely to store maize for the hungry season (on a base of 69 percent in the control group) and were twice as likely to sell maize.

Keywords: intertemporal price fluctuations, storage, savings, ROSCAs

JEL classification codes: O12, O13, O16, D14, E21

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