Uptake of improved technologies in the semi-arid tropics of West Africa: why is agricultural transformation lagging behind?
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During the last 3 decades, donors and governments have invested in the development and dissemination of new technologies in the semiarid tropics of West Africa. Though a wide range of improved technologies has been developed, adoption remains low without a significant impact on crop productivity, rural income and poverty. Agricultural transformation that occurred in East Asia has not yet occurred in the semiarid tropics of West Africa. This paper uses data from a regional survey of rural households (n=983) in 3 countries in West Africa (Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger) conducted in 2000-01, to identify the determinants of uptake of improved technologies. Limited productivity gain is found to be a major constraint to the uptake of technologies. In addition, poorly functioning institutions, lack of information or poor exposure of farmers to agricultural innovations, and poor functioning or missing markets have also hindered the uptake of many new technologies
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