• TABLE OF CONTENTS
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 Front Cover
 Introduction
 The farmer
 Promoting change
 Adoption of new plant technolo...
 Conclusion
 Literature cited














Title: Promoting the adoption of new plant technology
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00080098/00001
 Material Information
Title: Promoting the adoption of new plant technology
Physical Description: 13, 1 p. : ;
Language: English
Creator: Winkelmann, Donald
International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center
Publisher: International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center
Place of Publication: Mexico City
Publication Date: 1976
 Subjects
Subject: Agricultural innovations   ( nal )
Agriculture -- Developing countries   ( nal )
Technological innovations -- Developing countries   ( nal )
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Bibliography: Bibliography: p. 14.
Statement of Responsibility: Donald L. Winkelmann.
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Bibliographic ID: UF00080098
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 04246295

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover
    Introduction
        Page 1
    The farmer
        Page 2
    Promoting change
        Page 2
    Adoption of new plant technologies
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
    Conclusion
        Page 12
        Page 13
    Literature cited
        Page 14
Full Text





























































SCENTRO INTERNATIONAL DE MEJORAMIENTO DE MAIZ YTRIGO

INTERNATIONAL MAIZE AND WHEAT IMPROVEMENT CENTER
C1MMIYT
,\ M6xico
I ,i\. M~xico

















PROMOTING THE ADOPTION OF NEW


PLANT TECHNOLOGY


DONALD L. WINKELMANN
Economist




The evidence is compelling. If food supplies are to stay abreast
of growing populations and per capital income, farmers must increase
yields. 'Moreover, if the lot of the world's poor is to improve, farmers
in developing countries must increase yields. In short, needed increments
in production and in real incomes rest on yield increases. Unless nature
turns uncharacteristically benevolent, attaining the increases will require
that farmers change production technology.

Technological change in agriculture is not a new thing. New meth-
ods, new inputs, new varieties, even new crops have followed one another
throughout history. What distinguishes today's scene from that history is
today's strong sense of urgency and the emphasis on promoting change
through institutional efforts.

Some of these efforts have been notable successes, others have
been notable failures. Side by side are examples of new technologies which
have literally swept the countryside and others which, while apparently
promising much, have been rejected out of hand. If factors which contribute
to the rapid spread of new technologies could be identified, efforts to pro-
mote change could be enhanced.

The subject of this discussion is how adoption of new plant technology
can be promoted. The focus is on developing countries where the need for

Paper presented to the World Food Conference, Iowa State University, June,
1976. The author wishes to thank, without implicating, several CIMMYT
colleagues. Opinions reflected here are not necessarily those of the Inter-
national Maize and Wheat Improvement Center.






- 2


change is greatest. Most of the observations emerge from a series of
adoption studies in which CIMMYT participated. The discussion opens
with assumptions about farmer behavior, moves to elements which might
influence farmer response to new technology, then focuses on data se-
lected from the adoption studies, and concludes with implications for policy
makers.

The Farmer

The farmer necessarily occupies a central role in any discussion
of the adoption of new technology. He ultimately decides on the use of a
set of practices, thus is the protagonist of the drama. Agronomists,
entomologists, extensionists, geneticists, and economists all play sup-
porting roles.

By tailoring technologies so that they fit farmers' purposes, agri-
cultural scientists make it more likely that farmers will adopt them.
Technologies which are not consonant with farmer's circumstances are
likely to be rejected. So it is that assumptions about farmers' purposes
and circumstances are critical. The formulation of new technologies is
guided by these assumptions.

The point of view taken in this discussion is that farmers are
purposive in their behavior and are income-seeking risk averters, that
they are sensitive to the nuances of their environment, and that they are
reasonably efficient in managing the limited resources at their disposal.
It is sometimes argued that culture and tradition play a large role in
shaping farmer behavior, especially in developing countries. Our claim,
which parallels that of George Foster (19-62, p. 151) is that, while
cultural elements may momentarily impede the use of a technology, the
pull of economic forces will eventually dominate. With this view of the
farmer, those technologies which promise significant increases in profits
at acceptable levels of risk will be adopted.

Promoting Change

With profits and risk aversion as the dominant elements shaping
farmer response to technologies, there are two avenues for influencing
change. One involves changing the farmer's economic environment so as
to increase profits or reduce risks for already known technologies. The
second involves developing whole new technologies. Virtually all nostrums
for promoting change can be grouped under one of these headings.

Commonly recommended changes in the economic environment are
those which facilitate access to information, to inputs, and to markets.
Some examples are extension work, credit programs, lower prices for
inputs, effective distribution of inputs, guaranteed prices, storage programs,
and market roads. Most of these measures can be directly influenced by
government policy.






- 2


change is greatest. Most of the observations emerge from a series of
adoption studies in which CIMMYT participated. The discussion opens
with assumptions about farmer behavior, moves to elements which might
influence farmer response to new technology, then focuses on data se-
lected from the adoption studies, and concludes with implications for policy
makers.

The Farmer

The farmer necessarily occupies a central role in any discussion
of the adoption of new technology. He ultimately decides on the use of a
set of practices, thus is the protagonist of the drama. Agronomists,
entomologists, extensionists, geneticists, and economists all play sup-
porting roles.

By tailoring technologies so that they fit farmers' purposes, agri-
cultural scientists make it more likely that farmers will adopt them.
Technologies which are not consonant with farmer's circumstances are
likely to be rejected. So it is that assumptions about farmers' purposes
and circumstances are critical. The formulation of new technologies is
guided by these assumptions.

The point of view taken in this discussion is that farmers are
purposive in their behavior and are income-seeking risk averters, that
they are sensitive to the nuances of their environment, and that they are
reasonably efficient in managing the limited resources at their disposal.
It is sometimes argued that culture and tradition play a large role in
shaping farmer behavior, especially in developing countries. Our claim,
which parallels that of George Foster (19-62, p. 151) is that, while
cultural elements may momentarily impede the use of a technology, the
pull of economic forces will eventually dominate. With this view of the
farmer, those technologies which promise significant increases in profits
at acceptable levels of risk will be adopted.

Promoting Change

With profits and risk aversion as the dominant elements shaping
farmer response to technologies, there are two avenues for influencing
change. One involves changing the farmer's economic environment so as
to increase profits or reduce risks for already known technologies. The
second involves developing whole new technologies. Virtually all nostrums
for promoting change can be grouped under one of these headings.

Commonly recommended changes in the economic environment are
those which facilitate access to information, to inputs, and to markets.
Some examples are extension work, credit programs, lower prices for
inputs, effective distribution of inputs, guaranteed prices, storage programs,
and market roads. Most of these measures can be directly influenced by
government policy.





- 3


Developing new technology usually involves research. Work on var-
ieties emphasizes grain type, susceptibility to disease and insects, maturity
dates, storability, growth patterns, and responsiveness to management.
Work on agronomic practices tends to focus on fertilizers and dates of
planting.

The remaining discussion is on developing new technologies. It will
be argued that making technologies profitable is the dominant factor in
promoting change. As a corollary, when technologies fail in difusion it is
usually because they are not sufficiently profitable or are excessively risky.
This might be because of farmer access to information, inputs and markets
or it could be that the proposed technology is not effective in converting
inputs to product. The ensuing discussion focuses on the latter. It points to
the possibility that a major difficulty is in research methodology, i.e. that
insufficient attention is given to farmer circumstances in developing and
testing technologies.

The argument rests on an examination of the adoption of new technol-
ogy in three countries. For each, agro-climatic regions were identified and
adoption rates for each region were estimated. Marked differences are evi-
dent in adoption rates among regions receiving essentially similar institutional
treatments. The differences can be related to profit and risk. The inference
drawn in that the recommendations did not fit farmer circumstances in some
regions, hence were not adopted. To promote adoption, research methods
must be changed so that farmers' circumstances play a more central role
in developing and evaluating alternative technologies.

Adoption of New Plant Technologies

Farmers response to new technologies in Turkey, Kenya, and Mexico
is the subject of this section. It will be argued that agro-climatic circumstan-
ces, with their differing implications for profits and risks, dominated the adop-
tion of new technologies there. Farm size -- with its implications for access
to information and to inputs, for transaction costs, and for aversion to risk --
will be shown to have been influential in the use of fertilizers in some cases.

In each of the countries a package of practices was presented to the
farmers. Extension workers emphasized the complementarities among the
elements of the package, exhorting farmers to use all elements together in
order to reap all potential advantages. It will be evident from the three
programs reported here that farmers see these elements as separable and
take them up individually.

Turkey

Looking first at Turkey, the focus is on the country's spring wheat
producing areas and on one winter wheat area. In conjunction with agri-
cultural scientists the spring wheat area was partitioned into three regions.
From each of these three and from a single winter wheat area some 200
wheat producing farmers were selected at random and interviewed in 1973.






- 4 -


These were then designated as hillsides or flatlands depending on the topo-
graphy of their farms. So few flatland farmers appeared in Thrace that the
category was eliminated there. Finally each group was arrayed by size and
the array divided into two farm size classes at the median. Demir (1976).

Two elements dominated the new technology. The first was high
yielding varieties (HYV's), of Italian and Mexican origin for spring wheats
and of Russian origin for winter wheats. The second was the application of
fertilizer. Tables 1 and 2 show how farmers responded to the two elements
by region, topography, and farm size and, in the case of fertilizer, by
class of wheat seeded.

Looking at use of HYV's of spring wheats, there are clear differences
from region to region and, with the exception of Mediterranean Region, flat-
land farmers planted more HYV's than did the hillside farmers.

What might explain these differences among profit seeking risk averting
farmers? First, the Mexican wheats lacked cold tolerance and the Italian
wheats are not as cold tolerant as are the local varieties. Second, the
Mexican wheats were susceptible to Septoria, a now-and-again fungus disease
of wheat in the Mediterranean littoral.

With this as background, consider the regions. The Mediterranean
Region virtually never suffers from cold weather and Septoria is less likely
than in the Aegean or South Marmara Regions. Moreover, a goodly proportion
of the Aegean and South Marmara hillsides and a small proportion of the flat-
lands are at altitudes where damaging cold is frequent. Finally, these two
regions as described for the study are far more heterogeneous than was
hoped, even after making the partition for topography. Each includes a mixture
of disparate sub-regions.

Juxtaposing the characteristics of the wheats with those of the spring
wheat regions, the Mediterranean Region offers no environmental hazards to
HYV's. Yields are well above those of local varieties. Recommended var-
ieties are used by virtually all farmers.

Abstracting from the heterogeneity within each region, the Aegean and
South Marmara Regions presented hazards in the form of cold weather in the
higher hillsides. Moreover, for Mexican varieties, disease in the low lying
flat lands, especially in South Marmara, is a second hazard to yields. Adop-
tion rates are far higher in the flatlands than in the hillsides and somewhat
higher in the Aegean flatlands, where Septoria is less a problem, than in
South Marmara.

More recent field work in Turkey indicates that, if truly homogeneous
sub-regions were drawn within the larger Aegean and South Marmara Regions,
very high rates of adoption of HYV's would be found in some sub-regions and
very low rates of adoption in others. Two pairs of Aegean villages included
in the original survey were visited again. It was found that marked differences
in climate between paired villages accounted for sharp differences in adoption
rates.





- 5 -


TABLE 1.- Adoption of HYV's among samples farmers by size of farm,
region, and topography (percent). Turkey, 1972.


Small Larger All
Region Topography Farmers Farmers Farmers

Mediterranean Hills 92 90 91
Flat 95 97 96
Aegean Hills 4 23
Flat 60 77 69
South Marmara Hills 13 32 22
Flat 70 43 57
Thrace Hills 62 85 70


Source: Demir (1976, p. 13).





TABLE 2.- Average fertilizer use on wheat for sampled farmers by
size, region, topography and class of seed (kgs/ha. of
nitrogen + phosphorus). Turkey, 1972.



HYV's Other
Smaller Larger Smaller Larger
Region Topography Farmers Farmers Farmers Farmers

Mediterranean Hill 133 153
Flat 114 124 -
Aegean Hill 64 26 30
Flat 64 60 16 27
South Marmara Hill 69 64 41 42
Flat 80 65 37 48
Thrace Hill 107 110 67 89


Source: Demir (1976, p. 16).





- 6 -


In Thrace, 70 percent of the farmers had adopted HYV's in 1972.
Why was the rate not higher, as with Mexican wheats in Mediterranean
Region? The Russian winter wheat was introduced to Thrace in the late
1960's, some two years after the Mexican varieties were introduced into
the Mediterranean Region. It can be argued that insufficient time had
elapsed for the variety to reach all who will finally use it. For the same
reason, more large farmers had adopted than small farmers. It is common
to find larger farmers among earlier adopters with differences diminishing
as time passes, Gerhart (1975), Vyas (1975). In Mediterranean Region suf-
ficient time had elapsed to erase differences between farm size classes.
In Thrace, with some two to three years less experience with the new
varieties, a difference in adoption rates is still apparent. A survey taken
in 1975, say, would undoubtedly have shown both classes of farmers with
adoption rates on the order of 90 percent.

It can now be asked how farm size might influence income seeking
risk averters? Larger farmers have easier access to information and inputs
than have smaller farmers, face lower per hectare transaction costs, and
tend to be less averse to risk. Each of these considerations makes larger
farmers more likely than smaller farmers to appear within the ranks of
earlier adopters. In the Mediterranean Region the HYV's are sufficiently
profitable and stable and have been available for sufficient time that farm
size had little influence in 1972. In Thrace, it is likely that, given two
to three more years of diffusion, the farm size differences will have nar-
rowed to the levels of the Mediterranean Region. For the Aegean and South
Marmara Regions, conclusions about the influence of farm size must be
tempered by the knowledge that neither region has the desired level of
homogeneity. In three zones, larger farmers lead smaller farmers by large
margins; in the fourth the order is reversed and the margin is even larger.
Whether this reflects differences within homogeneous regions or is itself a
result of interaction between sub-regions and farm size is not clear.

Turning to fertilizer use, there are clear differences from region to
region and between HYV's and other varieties. The regions in which hazards
are least evident, Mediterranean and Thrace, reported the highest fertilizer
use. Among farmers using HYV's, farm size has negligible effect within
regions except for the Mediterranean Region where larger farmers use more
fertilizers. The differences are not large, certainly not as large as the dif-
ferences from region to region.

In general, the Turkish data support the view that agro-climatic circums-
tances, through their impact on profits and risk, dominate the adoption of the
elements of new technology.

Kenya

For Kenya, the case is even more clear cut. A series of hybrid maizes
were introduced in the 1960's in the area West of the Rift Valley. Each of these
included high altitude germplasm from the Andean Region of Latin America.
A farm level study undertaken by Gerhart in 1973 examined factors influencing
the adoption of hybrids and associated inputs. Three agro-climatic regions






- 7 -


were delineated and 300 farmers were interviewed. For each region the
farms were arrayed by size and divided at the median into two size
,classes.

Tables 3 and 4 give the percentage of farmers using hybrids and
fertilizers by region and, by size class. Table 3 shows sharp differences
attributable to agro-climatic region but only slight differences related to
size. The regional differences are easily explained. Regions 1 and 2 are
areas of high elevation, both above 1500 meters and with good rainfall.
Region 3 is below 1500 ,meters and with variable rainfall. The high altitude
germplasm of the Kenya hybrids promotes good performance at high
altitudes. They were developed at an experiment station in Region 2. At
lower altitudes their yield advantage over local maize declines notably and
finally disappears.

It is little wonder, then, that in Regions 1 and 2, where the hybrids
yield advantage over local maizes is marked, profit seeking risk averting
farmers have adopted the hybrids while in Region 3, with little if any yield
advantage, they have not done so. More accurately, Region 3 farmers have
not continued to use hybrids. While only 16 percent of the sampled farmers
were using hybrids in 1973, 35 percent reported using hybrids at some
previous time, Gerhart (1975, p. 24).

The agro-climatic differences are again evident in fertilizer use but,
as contrasted with HYV use, size is also playing a role. Fertilizer use in
Region 3 is dramatically lower than in Regions 1 and 2 and Region 1 is
appreciably lower than Region 2. Virtually all of the fertilizer was used on
hybrids, Gerhart (1975, p. 29). It is not clear why more farmers used
fertilizer in Region 2, with lower rainfall and lesser use of hybrids than in
Region 1. Perhaps it is the influence of the experiment station in Region 2.
In each of the Regions, the proportion of larger farmers applying fertilizer
to maize is greater than for smaller farmers.

In short, the study in Kenya West of Rift Valley reaffirms the impor-
tance of agro-climatic region on the use of hybrids and fertilizer. Hybrids
are relatively more profitable in Regions 1 and 2 than in Region 3, where
for the lower parts of the region there is likely to be little gain in profit
at all. Fertilizer use is influenced by agro-climatic region and by farm size
as well. The influence of farm size can be attributed to lower risk aversion
and transaction costs or to better access to inputs and information for
larger farmers.

Mexico

The area studied in Mexico was that of Plan Puebla. Plan Puebla was
organized in 1967 to develop and field test a methodology for fomenting rapid
increases in the production of a basic cereal under rainfed conditions. The
organizers sought a site with adequate infrastructure, low probability of crop
failure, small farmers, and low yields. They chose a high valley lying
around the city of Puebla, two hours east of Mexico City.






- 8


TABLE 3.-


Adoption of improved maize HYV's by region and
class (percent). Kenya, 1973.


farm size


Region 1 Region 2 Region 3

Samller half 95.7 83.7 17.4
Larger half 95.8 95.1 17.4


Source: Gerhart (1975, p. 24).





TABLE 4.- Fertilizer use on maize by region and farm size (percent).
Kenya, 1973.


Region 1 Region 2 Region 3

Smaller 47.8 71.4 2.1
Larger 75.0 92.5 6.4


Source: Gerhart (1975, p. 24).





- 9 -


The hallmarks of the Plan were 1) research on farmers' fields; 2)
dissemination of information and inputs through farmer groups organized
for that purpose; 3) close cooperation among researchers, extensionists
and evaluators; 4) collaboration among the Plan organization, government
institutions, and farmers; and 5) emphasis on the working rules of institu-
tions rather than their formal rules.

While the project area is small, encompassing about 120,000 ha. of
cultivable land and about 80,000 ha. of maize, it is quite variable. As
researchers sought to develop precise recommendations for increasing profits,
recommendations are available for nine different soil types.

Despite the variation, the Plan area can be partitioned into two re-
gions. One of these, Region A, has recommendations for eight soil types
but essentially the same recommendation applies to 45 percent of the
region. The second, Region B, has only one soil type and one recommen-
dation.

The recommendations featured larger applications of fertilizer and
greater planting densities than with the conventional technology. No change
in variety was recommended as the first years of work convinced re-
searchers that varieties were not limiting yields. The agronomic practices
promised marked increases in yields. On experimental plots the increase
was estimated at 1.8 tons/ha. in Region A and 2.0 tons/ha in Region B.
Winkelmann (1976, p. 29).

Each year a yield survey is taken in the Plan area'. Since 1971,
these surveys have included yields, plant densities, and fertilizer use. In
three years -- 1972, 1973, and 1975 -- farm size was also included. These
surveys provided the data for analyzing several aspects of the Plan.

If adoption of the recommended technology is defined strictly -- as
use of at least the quantity of inputs recommended -- farmers have adopted
on few plots. Table 5 shows the proportion of plots receiving various com-
binations of the recommended elements in 1975. Overall, less than 10 per-
cent of the randomly selected plots were receiving the treatment recom-
mended.

A variety of explanations have been offered for this apparently low
level of adoption, ranging from risk, Winkelmann (1974) to institutional
shortcomings Dfaz (1974), to the opportunity cost of labor Villa Issa 11976).
A close look at data from the yield surveys of 1971, 1972, and 1973- and
at experimental data suggests, however, that the chief cause might well
be the recommendations themselves.



1/ Yield data for 1975 were not available at the time of writing and data
for 1974 were eliminated because the area suffered its earliest frost
in over 50 years with substantial reductions in yields in some places.






- 10


TABLE 5.- Percent of surveyed plots on which adoption- of Plan-like
recommendations occurred in 1975. Plan Puebla.


Region A Region B

N / 34 65
N + Pi 13
NP + D- 2 11


N + P:


N + P + D:

Source:


At least 110 kgs/ha. nitrogen in Region 1; at least
100 kgs/ha. in Region B.
N as above and at least 40 kgs/ha. of phosphorus
in Region A; phosphorus not recommended in Region
B.
N and P as above and more than 45,000 plants ha.
at harvest time.
Yield survey data 1975, Plan Puebla.


TABLE 6.- Average yields on surveyed plots, 19.7,1-73, adjusted for
the off-farm maize cost of fertilizer- for three production
technologies. Plan Puebla.


Conventional Intermediate., Intensive ii
Technology Technology- Technology-

Region A 1570 2668 2447
Region B 1887 2637 2892

i/ Maize cost of fertilizer at the farm gate was subtracted from each
vield.


Conventional:

Intermediate:


Intensive:


Source:


0-50 kgs. nitrogen, 0-25 kgs. phosphorus, 15-35,000
plants in Zones 1-4 and 15-30,000 plants in Zone 5.
90-119 kgs. nitrogen, 20-50 kgs. of phosphorus,
35-60,000 plants in Zones 1-4; 80-100 kgs. of nitrogen,
33-60,000 plants in Zone 5.
120-160 kgs. of nitrogen, 40-70 kgs. of phosphorus,
35-60,000 plants in Zones 1-4; 101-160 kgs. of nitrogen,
33-60,000 plants in Zone 5.
Yield surveys 1971, 1972, 1973, Plan Puebla.





- 11 -


Several findings might explain why few farmers are planting the
recommended densities. In analyses based on experimental data from the
Plan, Moscardi (1976) and HernAndez (1972) suggest that yields are little
influenced by planting densities of over 40/45,000 plants. Winkelmann
(1976) presents data from the yield surveys which show yields higher with
high densities in a good year, roughly equal in an average year, and goes
on to infer that densities and yields are negatively related in a bad year.
On the average, higher densities with at least intermediate levels of
fertilizer might well pay off but in some years they might reduce yields.
Risk averters might not accept this.

In fertilizer use, nitrogen is the most costly component of the
recommendation in Region A and its only component in Region B. Region
B has a far higher proportion of farmers using at least recommended
levels than has Region A. (Even lowering the Region A definition to 100 kg/ha.
of nitrogen adds only 2 percentage points to the proportion defined as
adopting).

For both regions survey and experimental data imply that profits in-
crease as the farmer moves from the conventional to the recommended
strategy. But farmers need not limit their choice to these two technologies,
many other choices are open to them. The data from 1971-73 yield surveys
suggests that the farmers of Region A would actually prefer an alternative
choice. (See Table 6).

In both regions the intensive strategy, the strategy closest to the
recommendations, had higher adjusted yields than had the conventional
strategy. But in the" case of Region A, the intermediate strategy gave
higher adjusted yields than the intensive strategy. In no case would inclusion
of the opportunity cost of labor have changed the order, even were family
labor valued at its estimated upper bound. A profit seeking farmer whose
fields matched the average plots of the surveys would choose the inter-
mediate strategy in Region A and the intensive strategy in Region B.

The fertilizer data were examined to see if farm size and nitrogen
use were related in 1975. In Region A the average nitrogen use was almost
exactly the same for larger and smaller farmers, 88 kgs/ha. and 86 kgs/ha.
In Region B, smaller farmers used less nitrogen on the average than did
larger farmers, 108 kgs/ha. to 123 kgs/ha., but the differences have little
statistical significance. The same result emerges from comparing smaller
and larger farmers in the proportion of each applying less than 40 kgs/ha.
of nitrogen in 1975.

The yield data were then used to make frequency distributions. These
are consistent with the idea that risk aversion would not lead farmers to
choose the conventional strategy. In general the risk averter would rank
the strategies in the same way as the profit seeker, Winkelmann (1976, p. 68).

Table 5 shows that farmers are doing roughly what would be expected,
given the earlier assumptions about behavior. More and more farmers in





- 12 -


Region B are moving to higher levels of fertilizer. Meanwhile, in Region
A, far fewer farmers are following the fertilizer recommendations of the
Plan. Even so, average fertilizer use has increased markedly since 1967.
While 72 percent of the farmers surveyed in 1967 used less than 40 kgs/ha.
of nitrogen, only 23 percent did so in 1975. In neither case are many
farmers using the planting densities recommended.

Agro-climatic conditions again determined how a technology fits
farmer circumstances and thus had a notable effect on diffusion of new
technology.

A caveat

For each of the countries, sharp differences in adoption rates are
evident among agro-climatic regions. But to what extent are these dif-
ferences from region to region within a country due to different economic
environments ?

It is probably true that institutional treatments -- extension service,
infrastructure, access to inputs -- is somewhat better in Turkey's Mediter-
ranean than in Aegean Region, better in Kenya's Region 2 than in Region 3.
Still, these differences appear to be slight as compared with the differences
in adoption rates. And in Plan Puebla, if such differences exist, they favor
Region A where adoption rates are lowest.

In the main, the regional differences in adoption rates result from
the relative suitability of the technologies. Getting the technology right is
the critical step in promoting technological change.

Conclusions

There are evident patterns in adoption of improved varieties and fer-
tilizers when farms are grouped in terms of agro-climatic region. Patterns
for fertilizers also appear when farmers are grouped by size. The argument
developed here is that these patterns can be explained in terms of profitability
and risk without resorting to other explanations. Passing reference was made
to other forms of analysis featuring many other variables. These larger
models offered little insight into the process of diffusing technologies beyond
that gained from the simple tables presented here.

Farmers quickly take up varieties which suit their purposes -- roughly
95 percent of Turkey's Mediterranean farmers were using HYV spring wheat
only five years after introduction and over 70 percent of the farmers in
Thrace reported using HYV's within three years after their introduction.
Larger farmers are usually among the first to adopt with smaller farmers
following quickly.

Fertilizers are taken up less quickly and tend to be used in lesser
amounts than recommended. Farm size generally influenced fertilizer use
with smaller farmers usually applying less than do larger farmers in
similar agro-climatic circumstances. These actions could be a consequence
of differing access to credit and inputs, differing transaction costs, or
differing sensitivity to risk between larger and smaller farmers.





13 -


What does all of this imply for those concerned with promoting
widespread diffusion of new technology? They can influence farmer's
decisions by maintaining favorable price ratios and by insuring wide-
spread access to inputs as well as to information, in brief, by
influencing the economic environment of the farmer. There are certainly
cases where such efforts would foster more rapid diffusion of technol-
ogies. But the marked influence of agro-climatic factors on adoption
makes it appear that policy makers' first concern should be to insure
that research efforts lead to the evolution of technologies which truly
fit the needs of those farmers for whom they have the strongest sense
of concern. This is the critical requisite. To do this, research must
be organized so that farmers' circumstances play a more central role
in developing and evaluating alternative technologies.






LITERATURE CITED


Demir, Nazmi, 1976, "The Adoption of New Bread Wheat Technology in
Selected Regions of Turkey Edited and abridged by CIMMYT",
Centro Internacional de Mejoramiento de Mafz y Trigo, Mexico
City, Mexico.

Dfaz, Heliodoro, 1974, "An Institutional Analysis of a Rural Development
Project: The Case of the Puebla Project in Mexico", (Unpublished
Ph. D. Thesis) University of Wisconsin.

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Change, Harper and Row, New York.

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