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Nelson Mandela University (2019)

A study on technology adoption in agriculture in the Eastern Cape

Keevy, Christine

Titre : A study on technology adoption in agriculture in the Eastern Cape

Auteur : Keevy, Christine

Université de soutenance : Nelson Mandela University

Grade : Master of Business Administration 2019

The arrival of the Fourth Industrial Revolution has brought with it a vast array of new technologies that can be applied across many industries and various applications, to help solve many of the social, economic and environmental issues the world faces. However, it also heralds in an unprecedented rate of change. The agricultural industry is expected to be heavily affected by new technology. As they are run by smaller management teams they may need support from organisations to introduce technologies. The study aims to identify drivers and barriers to technology adoption in agriculture through a conceptual model based on the Technology Adoption Model, Diffusion of Innovation Theory, and a Technology-Organisation-Environment Model, along with a thorough industry analysis. The study obtained quantitative data from 59 respondents from the Eastern Cape farming community. The key findings include the identification of Perceived Usefulness and Industry Pressures as the variables with a significant driving influence on the intention to adopt new technologies. However, Perceived Ease of Use, Employee Knowledge and External Support Structures were found to have a negative relationship with the adoption of technology. It has been interpreted that improvements in these areas may enable farmers to adopt technology more easily but that farmers feel sufficient pressure to make them adopt technology despite the complexities and lack of required internal skills or external support. Due to the low number of respondents, it is not possible to infer the findings on the larger population of farmers. The findings can therefore only be used as exploratory findings which need to be verified in focus groups, with farmers, before any action is taken. However, the findings in the study can be used to aid the definition of frameworks for further studies and the development of action plans to support farmers in the adoption of technology.

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