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What is technology adoption? Exploring the agricultural research value chain for smallholder farmers in Lao PDR

  • Kim S. AlexanderEmail author
  • Garry Greenhalgh
  • Magnus Moglia
  • Manithaythip Thephavanh
  • Phonevilay Sinavong
  • Silva Larson
  • Tom Jovanovic
  • Peter Case
Article
  • 89 Downloads

Abstract

A common and driving assumption in agricultural research is that the introduction of research trials, new practices and innovative technologies will result in technology adoption, and will subsequently generate benefits for farmers and other stakeholders. In Lao PDR, the potential benefits of introduced technologies have not been fully realised by beneficiaries. We report on an analysis of a survey of 735 smallholder farmers in Southern Lao PDR who were questioned about factors that influenced their decisions to adopt new technologies. In this study, we have constructed measures or states of adoption which identify key elements of an adoption decision-making nexus. Analysis was conducted to statistically group explanatory factors of adoption. The key explanatory factors represented attributes of the farmer, the factors considered when undertaking production decisions and elements of the agricultural value chain that present as opportunities or constraints. We describe the combination of farmer’s personal attributes, perceptions of the value chain, and the introduction of new technologies by external actors as an “agricultural research value chain”, where agricultural research activities intervene to derive greater benefits for local farmers. A generalised linear model, via Poisson (multiple) regression analysis on the identified explanatory factors, was applied to explore how they influence adoption measures and we found several significant relationships.

Keywords

Measures of adoption Agricultural research value chain Adoption Lao PDR Technologies 

Abbreviations

ACIAR

Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research

DAFO

District Agriculture and Forestry Officers

DTEAP

Department of Technical Extension and Agro-Processing

IPM

Integrated pest management

JICA

Japan International Cooperation Agency

Lao PDR

Lao People’s Democratic Republic

NAFRI

National Agriculture and Forestry Institute

NUoL

National University of Laos

Notes

Acknowledgements

We are grateful to ACIAR for their support. We would also like to thank staff based in our Lao partner institutions for their support and assistance, namely, colleagues at: the National University of Laos, the National Agriculture and Forestry Institute and the Department of Technical Extension and Agro-Processing. Fieldwork conducted for the study was approved by James Cook University’s Human Ethics Research Committee: Approval H6109. Declarations of interest: none.

Funding

This works was supported by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) [Project No. ASEM/2014/052: “Smallholder farmer decision-making and technology adoption in southern Lao PDR: opportunities and constraints”].

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kim S. Alexander
    • 1
    Email author
  • Garry Greenhalgh
    • 1
  • Magnus Moglia
    • 2
  • Manithaythip Thephavanh
    • 3
  • Phonevilay Sinavong
    • 3
  • Silva Larson
    • 1
  • Tom Jovanovic
    • 1
  • Peter Case
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.College of Business, Law and GovernanceJames Cook University, Townsville CampusTownsvilleAustralia
  2. 2.Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)Clayton SouthAustralia
  3. 3.National Agricultural and Forestry InstituteVientianeLao PDR
  4. 4.University of the West of England (UWE)BristolUK

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