What is technology adoption? Exploring the agricultural research value chain for smallholder farmers in Lao PDR
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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.
KeywordsMeasures of adoption Agricultural research value chain Adoption Lao PDR Technologies
Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research
District Agriculture and Forestry Officers
Department of Technical Extension and Agro-Processing
Integrated pest management
Japan International Cooperation Agency
- Lao PDR
Lao People’s Democratic Republic
National Agriculture and Forestry Institute
National University of Laos
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.
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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