Determinants of Agricultural Technology adoption: the case of improved groundnut varieties in Malawi uri icon

abstract

  • This paper applies the Average Treatment Effect (ATE) framework on data obtained from arandom cross-section sample of 594 farmers in Malawi to document the actual and potentialadoption rates of improved groundnut varieties and their determinants conditional on farmers?awareness of the technology. The fact that not all farmers are exposed to the new technologiesmakes it difficult to obtain consistent estimates of population adoption rates and theirdeterminants using direct sample estimates and classical adoption models such as probit or tobit.Our approach tries to control for exposure and selection bias in assessing the adoption rate oftechnology and its determinants. Results indicate that only 26% of the sampled farmers grew atleast one of the improved groundnut varieties. The potential adoption rate of improvedgroundnut for the population is estimated at 37% and the adoption gap resulting from theincomplete exposure of the population to the improved groundnut is 12%. We further find thatthe awareness of improved varieties is mainly influenced by information access variables, whileadoption is largely influenced by economic constraints. The findings are indicative of therelatively large unmet demand for improved groundnut varieties suggesting that there is scopefor increasing the adoption rate of improved groundnut varieties in Malawi once the farmers aremade aware of the technologies and if other constraints such as lack of access to credit areaddressed

publication date

  • 2010