n African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development - Small farmers' adoption behaviour : uptake of elephant crop-raiding deterrent innovations in the Okavango Delta, Botswana

Volume 7, Issue 6
  • ISSN : 2042-1338
  • E-ISSN: 2042-1346
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This paper invokes the adoption-diffusion model to examine two introduced elephant crop-raiding deterrent innovations (ECDIs), and the factors influencing their adoption by small farmers in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Two communities(Gudigwa and Eretsha) were purposefully selected as case studies. Ninety-nine farmers were randomly selected and interviewed using open and close-ended structured questionnaires. First a reconnaissance survey was carried out to ascertain the extension agency's claim that it had introduced ECDIs to farmers and affirm the adoption of the innovations. Some key informants were purposively selected and interviewed using the interview guide. Focus group discussions were used to elicit qualitative data from the farmers. There are varying levels of innovation uptake among farmers. Deemed as effective, a significant proportion of farmers (50.5%) favoured the use of chilli pepper. Findings elicited farmers' perceptions, innovation trial-ability, complexity and effectiveness as key determinants of adoption decisions. They also underscore the need to employ a participatory approach in pushing the adoption of ECDIs. Creating a genuine farmer-scientist- extension linkage would facilitate exchange of useful information and bring about better understanding of the innovations. This paper contributes to literature on factors that predispose small farmers to adopting new ideas in relation to how they view their world.

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