Tropical Animal Health and Production

, Volume 44, Issue 6, pp 1199–1211 | Cite as

Farm and socio-economic characteristics of smallholder milk producers and their influence on technology adoption in Central Mexico

  • Carlos Galdino Martínez García
  • Peter DorwardEmail author
  • Tahir Rehman
Original Research


In order to identify the factors influencing adoption of technologies promoted by government to small-scale dairy farmers in the highlands of central Mexico, a field survey was conducted. A total of 115 farmers were grouped through cluster analysis (CA) and divided into three wealth status categories (high, medium and low) using wealth ranking. Chi-square analysis was used to examine the association of wealth status with technology adoption. Four groups of farms were differentiated in terms of farms’ dimensions, farmers’ education, sources of incomes, wealth status, management of herd, monetary support by government and technological availability. Statistical differences (p < 0.05) were observed in the milk yield per herd per year among groups. Government organizations (GO) participated little in the promotion of the 17 technologies identified, six of which focused on crop or forage production and 11 of which were related to animal husbandry. Relatives and other farmers played an important role in knowledge diffusion and technology adoption. Although wealth status had a significant association (p < 0.05) with adoption, other factors including importance of the technology to farmers, usefulness and productive benefits of innovations together with farmers’ knowledge of them, were important. It is concluded that the analysis of the information per group and wealth status was useful to identify suitable crop or forage related and animal husbandry technologies per group and wealth status of farmers. Therefore the characterizations of farmers could provide a useful starting point for the design and delivery of more appropriate and effective extension.


Characterization Cluster analysis Small-scale dairy farms Technology adoption Technology promoters Government organization 



The authors thank all farmers who participated in the study, for their hospitality and full support. The first author wishes to thank the Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACyT) for the doctoral grant 183885/301969 and the Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México for supporting the research.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carlos Galdino Martínez García
    • 1
  • Peter Dorward
    • 1
    Email author
  • Tahir Rehman
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Agriculture, Policy and DevelopmentUniversity of ReadingReadingUK

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