The Impacts of Technology Adoption on Smallholder Agricultural Productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Review

  •  Washington Muzari    
  •  Wirimayi Gatsi    
  •  Shepherd Muvhunzi    


This paper is a review article on the impacts of technology adoption on agricultural productivity in smallholder agriculture in the sub-Saharan African region. The use of agricultural technologies determines how the increase in agricultural output impacts on poverty levels and environmental degradation. Experience and evidence from countries within and around the sub-Saharan African region indicate that returns to agricultural technology development could be very high and far reaching. The factors affecting technology adoption are assets, income, institutions, vulnerability, awareness, labour, and innovativeness by smallholder farmers. Technologies that require few assets, have a lower risk premium, and are less expensive have a higher chance of being adopted by smallholder farmers. There are certain traditional smallholder agricultural technologies in sub-Saharan Africa that also have their own merits. Some of these technologies are more efficient in their use of scarce production resources than modern technologies. Modern researchers should therefore seek to understand the rationale behind traditional smallholder farmer behaviour in technology use. This will make their future technological interventions in smallholder agriculture more effective.

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