Participatory research demonstration and its impact on the adoption of improved agricultural technologies in the savannas of West Africa
Despite continued progress in the development and promotion of improved agricultural technologies, and the gradual process in agricultural research for development (R4D) programmes, adoption rates are relatively low in most parts of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Recommendations have, therefore, been made by national and international research institutions and stakeholders for more involvement of the smallholders in evaluating promising agricultural technologies. This study assessed the impact of the participatory research demonstration on the adoption of the technologies promoted by the sub-Saharan Africa Challenge Programme (SSA CP) using the innovation platform (IP) concept. Results showed that 67 and 59% of the IP and non-IP farmers, respectively, reported that researchers and extension personnel decided on the technologies for research or demonstration. Fifty-two and 43% of the IP and non-IP farmers, respectively, perceived research and demonstration to be very useful. The type of technology or demonstration that farmers mostly participated in was crop variety (IP farmers=72.87%; non-IP farmers=70.19%). Following our analyses which are based on the Instrumental Variable (IV) approach, participation in research and demonstrations significantly increased adoption of the demonstrated technologies by 99%. We observed a 100% significant increase in adoption of the demonstrated technologies in the sample of IP participants. The main factors that determined the adoption of the demonstrated technologies included membership to farmer group, and distances to input and output markets.
Keywords: Innovation Platforms, Research for Development, SSA CP