Scientific Publication

Technology characteristics, farmers’ perceptions and adoption decisions: A Tobit model application in Sierra Leone


The objective of this paper is to test the hypothesis that farmer perceptions of technology- specific characteristics significantly condition technology adoption decisions. Earlier adoption studies have not considered this in the analysis of the determinants of adoption decisions. The omission of farmers' evaluation of technology-specific attributes may bias the results of factors conditioning adoption choices. A Tobit model was used to test this hypothesis using a stratified random sample of 124 mangrove swamp rice farmers in Sierra Leone. The issue investigated is the adoption of improved mangrove swamp rice varieties. The estimated model results show that farmer perceptions of the technology-specific attributes of the varieties are the major factors determining adoption and use intensities. Indicators of adoption determinants traditionally used in adoption-diffusion studies were found not to be important in driving adoption decisions. Therefore, there is need for adoption studies to consider farmers' perceptions of technology-specific attributes in the assessment of technology adoption decisions.