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Wageningen University (2015)

Understanding factors affecting technology adoption in smallholder livestock production systems in Ethiopia : the role of farm resources and the enabling environment

Kebebe, E.G.

Titre : Understanding factors affecting technology adoption in smallholder livestock production systems in Ethiopia : the role of farm resources and the enabling environment

Auteur : Kebebe, E.G.

Université de soutenance : Wageningen University

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 2015

Résumé
In response to population growth, rising income and urbanisation, the demand for livestock products, such as milk, meat and eggs is growing in Ethiopia. The growing demand for milk products offers opportunities for smallholders to realize better livelihoods. Whereas the growing demand for milk products in Ethiopia is widely recognised, the dairy sector has not been able to produce adequate milk to satisfy this demand, mainly due to low productivity of dairy animals. The use of technological inputs, such as improved breeds of dairy cows and cultivation of improved forages, is often seen as a prerequisite to increasing livestock productivity and resource use efficiency in the smallholder dairy sector. However, adoption of such technologies has been low, despite numerous efforts to disseminate the technologies in the past. This poses a question as to why the majority of smallholders have not adopted livestock technologies in the Ethiopian highlands. The overall objective of this study was understanding the factors affecting adoption of technologies that enhance the productivity of livestock production and water use efficiency in the Ethiopian highlands, with particular emphasis on dairy production. The study was intended to deepen the understanding on the role of factors at the levels of farm households, value chains and macroeconomic institutions and policies on farmers’ decision to adopt technologies. The study employed interdisciplinary approach to analyse micro and macro level constraints that affect adoption of technologies in livestock production. The findings in the empirical chapters show that low adoption of the technologies that enhance the productivity of livestock production and water use efficiency stem from farmers’ limited access to farm resources, differentials in potential welfare impacts of the technologies, lack of effective and reliable supply chains for inputs and outputs, inadequate physical infrastructure and weak institutions and policies. The findings show that smallholders have been subjected to multiple constraints. Given the multiple constraints at different scales and the associated transaction costs facing smallholders in rural Ethiopia, the returns to investment for the technologies may be too low to justify widespread adoption of the technologies. Therefore, adoption of technologies in the dairy sector requires interventions at production, storage, transportation, processing and marketing chains and at macroeconomic institutions and policies. In the short and medium term, dairy development programs in Ethiopia will have a better chance of success if they target farmers who have better resource endowments and who are connected to better-functioning value chains rather than blanket technology scaling-up strategies targeting the majority of smallholders. Future agricultural research needs to shift the focus from predominantly developing new biophysical technologies towards social science research that assesses issues at value chain, macroeconomic institutions and policies that influence adoption of technology.

Mots clés : small animal practice - livestock farming - ethiopia - technology - innovations - animal production - water use efficiency

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