Social cultural factors as key determinants of agricultural technology adoption: the case of new rice for Africa (NERICA) adoption in Migori County, Kenya



Agricultural technologies have been identified as one of the key ways to improve smallholder farmers' food security and livelihoods in Sub-Saharan Africa. However, the adoption of these technologies remains low. Previous studies have focused more on the agronomic and socio-economic aspects influencing agricultural technology adoption. The social and cultural dimensions of adoption have hardly been addressed. The main objective of this study was to establish the influence of social-cultural factors on the adoption of agricultural technologies. The study was carried out in Migori County. Multistage sampling was used by combining purposive and simple random sampling. Data were collected from 262 NERICA rice farmers selected using simple random sample; 22 key informants were purposively selected and interviewed, and eight focus group discussions (FGDs) consisting of 10 to 12 people were conducted from purposively selected NERICA rice-farming villages. Quantitative data were analyzed using SPSS computer software and results were presented in frequencies and percentages. Qualitative data were transcribed and analyzed using thematic analysis. Findings show a statistically significant association between the adoption of NERICA rice technology and social cultural norms associated with agriculture, as indicated by the p-value of 0.001, which is way less than the significance level (α=0.05), hence important in adoption.