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Who adopt supplemental irrigation using farm ponds in Burkina Faso? An econometric analysis of the adoption of agricultural innovation

Ouedraogo R., Barbier B., Montginoul M.. 2021. In : 14ème Journées de recherche en sciences sociales. Clermont-Ferrand : SFER, p. 1-12. Journées de recherche en sciences scociales (JRSS). 14, 2021-04-07/2021-04-08, Clermond-Ferrand (France).

Facing rainfall variability, Burkina Faso's agricultural research proposed an innovation: supplemental irrigation using water harvested in small farm ponds close to the fields. The technique consists in digging a farm pond, harvesting run-off water after rain, and irrigating crops during the dry spells of the rainy season. Despite the involvement of the government, local and international organizations, the innovation still has a low adoption rate. This article analyzes, using an econometric model, the factors determining the decision of farmers to adopt the innovation, by focusing on farmers' psychosocial characteristics. 315 farmers located in 42 villages were interviewed. The analysis showed that young farmers are more likely to adopt the innovation. Adoption is higher for farmers who have preferences for growing vegetables. Adoption is also higher for farmers who have more visits from agricultural field officers, and in villages where farmers need to have a prior collective agreement. Farmers with a high social status are more likely to adopt than those who do not. In addition, the perception of the recurrence of dry spells is a factor that involves the decision of farmers to adopt. However, adoption is lower for farmers who have access to another source of water around their farm, such as wells or dams. And, the perception that a failure in the adoption of the innovation might trigger mockery from neighbors or a loss of social prestige is a factor that limits the decision of farmers to adopt. Results showed that econometric modeling taking farmers' psychosocial characteristics into account and using socioeconomic and institutional variables can lead to a better understanding of the determinants of the farmers' decision to adopt an innovation.

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