To predict farmer adoption of new technology, distinctive approaches have been developed within a number of social research disciplines. Some of these have focused on the range of personal characteristics of farmers. In others, marketing techniques have been used to analyse production limitations and farmer objectives to understand technology adoption. Biological scientists in New Zealand have in general acknowledged a role for social scientists in describing the economic and social conditions surrounding farmer innovativeness, but have seldom allowed that to influence the development of new technology. The central proposition this paper is that a marketing approach to the development of farm technologies will improve their adoption rate.
A survey of farmers in New Zealand’s Waitomo District has been previously reported in a study of their decisions to adopt beef breeding cow technologies (mating yearling heifers, using crossbred beef dairy cows, and terminal sires). In this paper ten attributes of the three technologies identified by farmers are reported as influencing their adoption or non-adoption decisions. When these attributes were included in logit regression equations, the equations were 70-74% correct in predicting which farmers had adopted technologies and which had not. It is concluded that new technologies will only be adopted if they meet farmer expectations when applied within farm production systems. To improve rates of adoption, researchers need a greater understanding of the attributes of new technologies that will be used by farmers to evaluate them. This can only be achieved by involving farmers at all stages of the developmental process.
Parminter TG 1994. The use of a marketing approach to improve the development of new technologies: a case study. Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production 54: 393-397.