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Predicting Adoption of Innovations by Farmers: What is Different in Smallholder Agriculture?

New Podcast featuring AAEA members published in AEPP

Predictions of the speed and extent of adoption of new agricultural practices and technologies are needed to inform decisions and plans in agricultural policy, research and extension. Reseachers are adapting an existing tool for predicting the adoption of agricultural innovations to improve its relevance to farmers in developing countries.

In the new article “Predicting Adoption of Innovations by Farmers: What is Different in Smallholder Agriculture?” part of a larger special issue on “Adoption of Agriculture Innovations” published in the Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, the authors identify a number of distinctive features of smallholder agriculture in developing counties that affect agricultural adoption.

Rick Llewellyn from CSIRO spoke with the organizer of the special issue David Pannell in a podcast and , says, “Farmers are concerned about the advantage might gain from a new technology in the context of what they're currently doing, and that's not just about profit. Smallholder farmers, in particular, are also concerned about risk and subsistence, and may face more constraints than farmers in developed countries do.”

He continued, “that's why in this paper we are referring to relative advantage rather than a tight focus on profit, because certainly in the smallholder setting you do need to broaden it out a little bit more than what you might do in some of the commercial agriculture settings.”

Listen to the podcast now:

If you are interested in setting up an interview, please contact Allison Scheetz in the AAEA Business Office.

ABOUT AAEA: Established in 1910, the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association (AAEA) is the leading professional association for agricultural and applied economists, with 2,500 members in more than 60 countries. Members of the AAEA work in academic or government institutions as well as in industry and not-for-profit organizations, and engage in a variety of research, teaching, and outreach activities in the areas of agriculture, the environment, food, health, and international development. The AAEA publishes two journals, the American Journal of Agricultural Economics and Applied Economic Perspectives & Policy, as well as the online magazine Choices and the online open access publication series Applied Economics Teaching Resources. To learn more, visit

Contact: Allison Scheetz
Senior Communications Manager
(414) 918-3190