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Abstract

An agricultural development project targeted to resource poor households disseminated a wide range of crop, livestock, fisheries, agro-processing and non-farm technologies to enhance their yield, income and food security. In this paper, impact of the project on acquisition of knowledge and adoption of the promoted technologies are measured as these are critical intermediate steps to achieve increased yield, income and food security. A combination of project and control, and before intervention and after intervention was used to assess impact of the project activities. It appeared that for technologies which were more vigorously promoted through knowledge dissemination and input supply, both incidence of knowledge and adoption increased significantly in the project areas, and in some cases net change in adoption was more than in knowledge acquisition perhaps because previously people knew certain technologies but did not practice them due to some constraints which were removed by the project activities. Net change in the yield of several crops was 8-21% in the project areas. The findings indicate that even when technologies are scale neutral, poor and marginal farmers may not be aware about them and may not adopt them or adopt inadequately due to lack of knowledge and access to inputs and services. Therefore, much social gains can be derived by designing and implementing extension, information dissemination and input supply programmes targeted to such households so that they may have access to better knowledge, technology and inputs to make best use of their meagre land, labour and capital resources to improve productivity and income and improve food security.

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