Smallholder farmers’ perceptions of agricultural extension in adoption of new technologies in Kakamega County, Kenya
This exploratory study assesses factors that harness agricultural technology adoption among smallholder farmers in Kakamega County, Kenya by evaluating the key variables that influence sustainable adoption of agricultural innovations in the area. A survey was randomly administered in June and July 2018 among smallholder farming households in seven sub-counties (N=78) of Kakamega County. A logistic regression model, capturing factors presumed to influence the adoption of agricultural innovations, was estimated. Results suggest that even in smallholder farms, the farm size is important in adoption of innovations. Results also indicate limited or no farmer interaction (55%) with extension services. Farmers reported application of fertilizer and use of push-pull technology as less important in maintaining soil health. The regression model findings suggest that variables typically presumed to influence adoption in the literature are insignificant in this case study. The statistical significance of the farm size variable implies that agricultural extension messages can be tailored to a variety of farmer audiences for suitable adoption based on farm size. The diffusion of innovation theory remains a valid and relevant framework in studying adoption. This study reiterates the critical role that farmers or their environment play in the adoption process.
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