Market imperfections, access to information and technology adoption in Uganda: challenges of overcoming multiple constraints uri icon

abstract

  • Limited empirical evidence exists on how multiple binding constraints influence the adoption of improved technologies by smallholder farmers. This article uses the case of groundnut variety adoption in Uganda to investigate the role of information, seed supply, and credit constraints in conditioning technology uptake. New data from a household survey in seven groundnut growing districts (n = 945) indicate that 8% of farmers lack information on new varieties, while 18% and 6% of farmers, respectively, cannot adopt mainly due to seed supply and capital constraints. A tobit-type specification that considers all nonadopters as being uninterested in the technology (i.e., corner solutions) would lead to inconsistent parameter estimates and incorrect conclusions in this context. We therefore estimate a modified multi-hurdle specification of demand for new varieties, taking into account how information, seed supply, and capital constraints jointly determine adoption probability and intensity. The study reveals new empirical insights on why agricultural technology adoption in Africa has lagged behind: slow uptake is not mainly due to a lack of economic incentives, but rather a reflection of information, seed supply, and credit constraints that prevent farmers from translating their desired demand into adoption of modern varieties. Policy implications are discussed.

publication date

  • 2015
  • 2015