ANALYSING THE LOW ADOPTION OF WATER CONSERVATION TECHNOLOGIES BY SMALLHOLDER FARMERS IN SOUTHERN AFRICA

Natural resource degradation and water scarcity are a global concern, which typically threatens the sustainability of smallholder farmers' livelihoods in semi-arid developing areas. As part of research efforts, a number of water-conservation technologies (WCT) have been developed, yet with low adoption rates in smallholder farming environments. This paper discusses the concepts of adoption and innovation, comparing the perspectives of research operators to the ones of smallholder farmers. Discrepancies are highlighted and ultimately explain low uptake of technologies by farmer. Then it addresses socio-economic factors affecting such adoption. It is argued that WCT show specific traits: (1) diversity and applicability to different time and spatial scales; (2) hence, the dependency upon a context. These traits influence dissemination and adoption of WCT, and should not be ignored, from the early stage of technology development. It is shown that adoption does not only depend on individual farmers willingness, but also upon the role of property rights on resources, and collective action at community level. Other specific issues and factors like the demand for WCT, the role of public sector and research, and related biases are also discusses. It finally draws some recommendations towards rural livelihoods that are more sustainable. Farmers' participation in technology development, taking account of local indigenous knowledge and sound institutional arrangements are among other the pathways that are suggested towards a better integration of technology development and innovation processes.


Issue Date:
2003
Publication Type:
Working or Discussion Paper
PURL Identifier:
http://purl.umn.edu/18028
Total Pages:
16
Series Statement:
Working Paper 2003-01




 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2017-08-24

Fulltext:
Download fulltext
PDF

Rate this document:

Rate this document:
1
2
3
 
(Not yet reviewed)