PhD defence

Making interventions work on the farm. Unravelling the gap between technology-oriented potato interventions and livelihood building in Southern Ethiopia

PhD candidate ms. YT (Yenenesh Tadesse) Gebresilase
Promotor PC (Paul) Struik
Co-promotor CJM (Conny) Almekinders RPO (Rogier) Schulte
Organisation Wageningen University, Centre for Crop Systems Analysis

Mon 16 October 2017 13:30 to 15:00

Venue Aula, gebouwnummer 362

Short summary

The research presented in this thesis analyses how socio-economic factors influence adoption of agricultural technologies. Specifically it analyses the influence of technology introduction strategies, social networks and social differentiation on the adoption, dissemination and effects of potato technologies introduced in Chencha, Southern Ethiopia. Results shows that wealthy farmers have first-hand access to potato technologies introduced in the locality, and that these improved potato production practices also fit well with their farm reality. Moreover, wealthy farmers had an important role in the multiplication and dispersion of new potato varieties in farmer seed networks and through seed cooperatives. From a practitioners’ point of view, therefore, targeting potato technological interventions towards wealthy farmers could be considered effective, with the assumption that farmers will eventually adopt, once they become familiar with the technology. On the other hand, all this raises concerns about the equitability and effectiveness of interventions introducing agricultural technologies. This implies 1) effective interventions for a range of farm contexts should be inclusive of farmers of all categories, 2) interventions should offer a range of technology options and associated information on the costs and optimal benefits of technology options and 3) interventions focused on building farmer groups need to shift from ‘standard production models’ to an open and flexible model.