Does cooperative membership increase and accelerate agricultural technology adoption? Empirical evidence from Zambia uri icon

abstract

  • In developing countries, agricultural cooperatives are increasingly being used to promote improved agricultural technologies and alleviate food insecurity and poverty. However, little is known about the role of agricultural cooperatives in accelerating the adoption of improved agricultural technologies. Using a comprehensive balanced household panel and varietal data, this study applied the difference-in-difference model to identify factors affecting farmers' decision to become cooperative members and the impact of cooperative membership on the adoption of improved maize, inorganic fertilizer and crop rotation. Furthermore, the study used the inverse probability weighted regression adjustment model to analyze the impact of cooperative membership on the speed of adoption of improved maize varieties. We found that cooperative membership increased the probability of technology adoption by 11-24 percentage points. Results further indicated that the average time to adoption was about 8 years, but it was shorter for cooperative members. The results showed that, on average, cooperative membership increased the speed of adoption of improved maize by 1.6-4.3 years. Generally, the results suggest the need for policies which promote farmer organizations such as cooperatives coupled with effective extension services for faster and greater adoption of improved technologies.

publication date

  • 2020
  • 2020