The interaction of gender, group formation, mobility and age on cowpea innovation transfer
The objective of the study was to explore the relationship between gender, group formation, mobility, age and innovation transfer in cowpea innovation transfer. Data collection was achieved through formal surveys, Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) and observations. A hundred and twenty individual interviews were conducted for the formal survey guided by questionnaire. While 275 community members made up of both male and female farmers, elders, the youth and traders were involved in five Focal Group Discussion Workshops. Results showed that group formation enhanced collective reaction and for that matter technological uptake to others within the group. Results indicated that linkages between men and between women point to a potential for sharing within and between families and villages. Rural urban migration was found to influence the likelihood of innovation adoption. This was a result of their exposure to innovative methods of farming outside the rural farming settings. In terms of age, younger farmers were found to adopt technologies faster though the younger farmers do not have the same years of farming experience. This was because, the young male farmers is prepared to be daring and to take risks, particularly if they control a substantial amount of finance. The high rate of adoption among young farmers also reflects their ability to understand and apply complex technological knowledge. However, the older men found it difficult to change their farming practices because they do not trust new innovations. In adopting an agricultural innovation, the research suggests depends upon a number of factors and these include: age, gender, mobility, being part of a group, availability of inputs and finance, effectiveness of the innovation, the role of traditional norms and values and the level of formal or informal education or what might be referred to as enlightenment. It must be noted that people adopt new agricultural innovations at different times and for different reasons. Group formation was found to positively influence the adoption of new and improved innovations. To promote the adoption of an innovation, age must be critically considered. It has been argued here that young farmers are more ready to adopt innovations than members of other age groups. Older farmers change their practices if there is no alternative to having good quality produce but practice local innovations in the main. In conclusion mobility, gender, group formation and age facilitates innovation adoption and transfer.
Keywords: Gender; Group Formation; Mobility; Age; Innovation Transfer; Farmer Field School