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CIMMYT and IITA train economists in Stata

During 07–12 April 2008, CIMMYT and IITA gave a training course for 25 collaborators from 13 countries in eastern, western, and southern Africa on “Modeling Agricultural Technologies Using Stata,” in Johannesburg, South Africa. The course was intended to contribute to harmonization of survey data collection, management, analysis, and econometric modeling using Stata by CIMMYT-IITA and its collaborators.

The course coordinators, CIMMYT–Zimbabwe economist Augustine Langyintuo and IITA economist Diakalia Sanogo, used a practical, hands-on approach and took participants through aspects of technology adoption modeling—rationale for adoption studies, adoption determinants, and technology adoption models. Langyintuo introduced Stata–econometric software and highlighted its potential for use in data analysis and modeling adoption of agricultural technologies.

The participants also had a go at working with the software, which was installed in their computers.

Drought Tolerant Maize for Africa (DTMA) project leader, Wilfred Mwangi, underlined the expected roles of socioeconomists in his presentation on the DTMA project. He also acknowledged the support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as well as from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. Mwangi urged course participants to use the knowledge gained to determine the impact of drought at household and national levels and thus inform the design of technologies, institutions, and policies.

Additionally, CIMMYT’s impact specialist Roberto La Rovere demonstrated, step-bystep, how to use the Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) in streamlining data collection during surveys.

“I generate a lot of data and I am looking forward to using my new skills in Stata data management to prepare reports of my work with CIMMYT. I am confident that this process will now be much easier!” said Shamiso Chikobvu, principal agricultural economist with Zimbabwe’s Department of Agriculture and Extension. “The hands-on approach of the course made it more interesting and interactive and I look forward to sharing with my students what I have learnt about the use of Stata in modeling adoption,” said Simeon Bamire, Assistant Dean, Faculty of Agriculture at Obafemi Awolowo University and an IITA collaborator.

The course also represented collaboration between two CIMMYT projects—the DTMA and the New Seed Initiative for Maize in Southern Africa (NSIMA).