Agricultural Technology Adoption in West Africa
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Smallholder household adoption of improved agricultural technologies, including fertilizer, irrigation, and improved storage methods, continues to remain relatively low in West Africa. As a result, smallholder production of staple crops is low, food security is low, and many households continue to produce at the subsistence or semi-subsistence level. This thesis identifies factors that influence the household’s decision to adopt a new agricultural technology using survey data collected in Ghana, Liberia, and Senegal in 2012. This study uses the probit model to estimate the likelihood of household adoption of these improved technologies and discusses the differences between the sample results as well as regional results. Overall, results indicate that the factors most strongly associated with the adoption decision across all three countries are access to credit, access to agricultural information, and membership in a farmers cooperative. In the technology-specific models, fertilizer adoption was influenced significantly by access to credit, but was also positively associated with farmer education and farm size. Regarding irrigation adoption, the most important factors included farm size, access to credit, and access to agricultural technology. The adoption of improved storage was strongly associated with farmer education, land title, and access to credit. The results strengthen the argument that education, extension, and financial services must be strengthened to better respond to household’s needs.
Shaw, Caitlin Susanne (2014). Agricultural Technology Adoption in West Africa. Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from