Diffusion and adoption of new rice varieties for Africa (Nerica) in the Gambia
Rice (Oryza sativa) is one of the most important cereal crops cultivated in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). It is ranked as the fourth most important crop in terms of production after sorghum (Sorghum bicolor), maize (Zea mays) and millet (Eleusine coracana). The objective of this study was to establish adoption rates, and their determinants, of the New Rice Varieties for Africa (NERICA) in the Gambia. We used data from a stratified sample of 600 rice farmers and applied the Average Treatment Estimation (ATE) framework to establish rate of adoption and associated factors. The results revealed that NERICA adoption rate was barely 40% falling far below the expected 83%. The shortfall was due to the incomplete stakeholder exposure to NERICA in the period before 2006. The introduction of NERICA to villages was found to be a significant determinant of both exposure and adoption of NERICA varieties.
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