FRR VOLUME 4 NO 1_2019:Adoption of Technologies and Crop Productivity in Ethiopia: The Role of Agricultural Information

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Understanding how diffusion of new agricultural technology works and investigating the role of agricultural information in this process has an important contribution to inform policy and improve how diffusion policies function. Using a unique and two-round panel dataset, this study attempts to identify the type and channels of acquiring, agricultural information; and whether this information helps them in their decisions to adopt new technologies, and how using such inputs is translated into better and higher yield. The study suggests that community gatherings are an important source of agricultural information and encourage wheat and barley farmers to use more modern inputs such as chemical fertilizers and improved seeds. On-farm services of extension workers were also instrumental in encouraging wheat farmers to use more chemical fertilizers than wheat farmers who didn’t benefit from such services. Moreover, the result also reveals that wheat yield responded to the use of chemical fertilizers, improved seeds and other chemicals (pesticides, fungicides etc.), while yield for barley farmers responded only to chemical fertilizers and other chemicals. Although a significant number of farmers reported that they use mass media as a source of information, the data doesn’t support any link between the use of media and application of modern inputs. Moreover, a link between visiting demonstration plot and application of chemical fertilizers and improved seeds couldn’t be established partly due to the fact that only few farmers used these plots as a resource in their decisions due to the limited number of demonstration plots. These findings suggest that community meetings and on-farm advisory services have the capacity to convince farmers to use new and improved technologies such as chemical fertilizers and improved seeds and need to be expanded. Furthermore, demonstration plots should be expanded to allow farmers access to a first-hand and experimental showcase of modern agriculture.

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