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Farmers’ innovativeness and positive affirmation as main drivers of adoption of soil fertility management practices – evidence across sites in Africa

Spurk, Christoph; Koch, Carmen; Bürgin, Reto; Chikopela, Louis; Konaté, Famagan; Nyabuga, George; Sarpong, Daniel Bruce; Sousa, Fernando and Fliessbach, Andreas (2023) Farmers’ innovativeness and positive affirmation as main drivers of adoption of soil fertility management practices – evidence across sites in Africa. The Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension, online, pp. 1-25.

[thumbnail of Farmers  innovativeness and positive affirmation as main drivers of adoption of soil fertility management practices   evidence across sites in Africa.pdf] PDF - Published Version - English
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Document available online at: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/1389224X.2023.2281909


Purpose: Declining soil fertility is worrying in sub-Saharan Africa. Various technologies serve to mitigate or rebuild soil fertility, but uptake by farmers, especially smallholders, is low. The study addresses this adoption problem in a novel way, assessing empirically many factors from various domains (economic, sociodemographic, individual, institutional, networks and information sources) to identify what drives adoption.
Design/Methodology/Approach: The panel study used data from baseline and end line surveys with 1870 smallholders in Ghana, Kenya, Mali, and Zambia. Quantitative data were analysed simultaneously via logistic regression, complemented by qualitative interviews. The study demonstrates the advantage of panel studies, as they can measure changes in practice or in farmers’ attitudes.
Findings: Individual factors, for example innovativeness, perception about soil fertility and correct knowledge, have the biggest influence on adoption. Socio-demographic and economic factors, by contrast, play hardly any role, as do individual information sources.
Practical implications: Future research should focus on in-depth studies of individual factors, e.g. innovativeness and knowledge, and on the information environment of farmers. Communication efforts must primarily target innovative farmers, ensure high quality, address competing messages, and communicate through many different channels.
Theoretical implications: The importance of ‘intrinsic’ factors that have previously been overlooked in adoption studies in SSA becomes clear.
Originality/Value: The study is one of very few that empirically assesses a wide range of independent variables to identify the drivers of adoption. It reports not only significance but also effect sizes.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:Adoption, innovation, farmer communication, panel study, sub-sahara, africa, soil fertility management practices, smallholders, Abacus, FiBL10119, Orm4Soil
Agrovoc keywords:
technology adoption
sub-Saharan Africa -> Africa South of Sahara
soil fertility
innovation systems
Subjects: Soil > Soil quality
Knowledge management > Research methodology and philosophy > Systems research and participatory research
Knowledge management > Education, extension and communication > Technology transfer
Knowledge management > Research methodology and philosophy > Research communication and quality
"Organics" in general > Countries and regions > Africa
"Organics" in general > Countries and regions > Switzerland
Research affiliation: Switzerland > ZHAW
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Soil > Soil fertility
Switzerland > Other organizations Switzerland
Related Links:https://www.orm4soil.net/orm-home.html
Deposited By: Fließbach, Dr. Andreas
ID Code:51955
Deposited On:17 Nov 2023 14:11
Last Modified:21 Nov 2023 15:29
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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