Journal Article


The adoption problem; or why we still understand so little about technological change in African agriculture

Published on 1 March 2016

The notion of adoption is central to efforts to measure technological change in African agriculture, and plays an important role in the evaluation of return on investment in agricultural research and technology development.

However, the adoption concept, as it is commonly used in both the literature and development research practice, is seriously flawed and leads to inaccurate and misleading conclusions.

The authors outline a design specification for a replacement concept that would provide a better basis for robust empirical research on the economic, social and environmental impacts of investment in agricultural technology development and promotion. They propose that this new concept can contribute to a better and more nuanced understanding of the impacts of technology development interventions.


Image of Dominic Glover

Dominic Glover

Research Fellow

Image of James Sumberg

James Sumberg

Emeritus Fellow

Publication details

published by
IP Publishing Ltd
Glover, D., Sumberg, J., Andersson, J.A.
Outlook on Agriculture, volume 45, issue 1


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