Farmers’ preferences and technology adoption

Suprehatin (left) during pre-survey visit to farm household.

Global Food Studies PhD scholar Suprehatin presented his paper at GFS Seminar Series on Wednesday 29th April 2015. His paper titled “The Effect of Indonesian Farmers’ Preferences for Crop Attributes in the Adoption of Horticulture crops: A Best-Worst Scaling Approach” is co-authored with GFS’ Associate Professor Wendy Umberger, Dr Dale Yi, Professor Randy Stringer and Dr Nicholas Minot, Senior Research Fellow at IFPRI.

Suprehatin at GFS seminar (Photograph by Tien Dung Khong)

The paper aims to provide insight into how farmers’ preferences for crop attributes influence their adoption decisions using data from an ACIAR-funded survey of Indonesian farmers that produce a variety of agricultural crops. It is generally accepted that innovation adoption is complex and has multiple dimensions. Most studies only focus on a binary choice i.e. whether or not the farmer adopts at one specific time without taking into account the duration, intensity of innovation adoption and its impacts on farm performance, for example farm income. In addition, many innovation adoption studies fail to take into account technology characteristics or attributes and farmers’ preferences for these attributes.

Suprehatin’s work is able to address this gap in the literature by presenting farmers’ preferences for technology attributes. His work suggests that there are for clusters of farmers based their relative preferences for crop attributes, namely: government support, commercial, stable yield and input conserved clusters. Each cluster has unique relative preferences and socio-demographic characteristics and seems to have impacts on farm income.

The finding from this study provides recommendations on how to better target horticulture development programs and, therefore, help improve farmers’ livelihoods.


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