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Improving agricultural policymaking and interventions for innovation adoption: tackling behavioural barriers for smallholder rice farmers

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Peer-reviewed

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Chindasombatcharoen, Nopparuj  ORCID logo  https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5740-7536
Kumar, Mukesh 
O'Sullivan, Eoin 

Abstract

Encouraging agricultural innovation adoption is a crucial activity for enabling an innovative agri- food supply chain. However, smallholder farmers in the Global South face a myriad of challenges hindering their ability to adopt. This paper investigates one of those barriers which are often overlooked by adoption researchers, that is, behavioural barriers. 18 key informant interviews were done with rice farmers and agricultural technology companies, and a thematic analysis of the results revealed several key issues that agricultural extension and policy makers often overlook. Results showed that farmer’s mindset and attitude, effort costs, unclear benefits, contradicting understanding, and lack of trust are key behavioural hindrances to adoption of innovation. Solutions to solving these barriers include showing clearer linkages to improved income, creating trust, reducing effort requirement, utilising social influence, and adjusting government’s strategies and mindsets. Policymakers often stick to traditional economic approaches to solving non-adoption issues which not only has low cost-effectiveness but also leads to minimal impact in certain scenarios. Consideration of the knowledge provided in this paper can lead to economic, social, and environmental sustainability among smallholder farmers.

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R&D Management Conference 2023

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