The role of knowledge, attitudes and perceptions in the uptake of agricultural and agroforestry innovations among smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa uri icon

abstract

  • Despite the great potential of agricultural innovations, the uptake by smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa seems to be slow. We reviewed existing theories and frameworks for the uptake of agricultural innovations and found that these tend to emphasize the role of extrinsic factors such as the characteristics of the adopter and the external environment in the decision-making process. In this paper, we argue that intrinsic factors such as the knowledge, perceptions and attitudes of the potential adopter towards the innovation play a key role, but this has been less studied. We present an analytical framework that combines both extrinsic and intrinsic factors in farmers' decisions to adopt new agricultural technologies and apply the framework to agroforestry adoption as a case study. We review the literature on agroforestry adoption in sub-Saharan Africa and identify the extrinsic and intrinsic variables affecting the uptake of agroforestry technologies. We conclude that the uptake of agricultural technologies is a complex process influenced by both extrinsic and intrinsic variables, and recommend that future studies aiming to understand the adoption process of agricultural innovations take into account both sets of variables. A mechanistic understanding of how intrinsic and extrinsic factors interact and drive adoption can help in targeting technologies appropriately to ensure sustainability
  • Despite the great potential of agricultural innovations, the uptake by smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa seems to be slow. We reviewed existing theories and frameworks for the uptake of agricultural innovations and found that these tend to emphasize the role of extrinsic factors such as the characteristics of the adopter and the external environment in the decision-making process. In this paper, we argue that intrinsic factors such as the knowledge, perceptions and attitudes of the potential adopter towards the innovation play a key role, but this has been less studied. We present an analytical framework that combines both extrinsic and intrinsic factors in farmers' decisions to adopt new agricultural technologies and apply the framework to agroforestry adoption as a case study. We review the literature on agroforestry adoption in sub-Saharan Africa and identify the extrinsic and intrinsic variables affecting the uptake of agroforestry technologies. We conclude that the uptake of agricultural technologies is a complex process influenced by both extrinsic and intrinsic variables, and recommend that future studies aiming to understand the adoption process of agricultural innovations take into account both sets of variables. A mechanistic understanding of how intrinsic and extrinsic factors interact and drive adoption can help in targeting technologies appropriately to ensure sustainability.

publication date

  • 2015
  • 2015
  • 2015