This project aims to help more poor, marginalised, and female farmers in Cambodia adopt agricultural technologies and best practices.
A farmer’s decision to adopt an agricultural technology or practice involves technical, local, financial, contextual, and personal factors. Efforts to encourage adoption must prioritise perceptions of problems and solutions, including how farmers imagine solutions might be implemented and the actors they believe are involved. Such problem-solution pathways emphasise the everyday influences that determine adoption.
This way of understanding farmer decision-making is especially important in North-western Cambodia, where poverty and marginalisation impede more sustainable development. The region is in the midst of a cassava boom and possible bust. Cassava is an important crop in the provinces of Battambang and Pailin, providing this research project with a case and context to analyse farmer decision-making.
The project will study why farmers make decisions; identify connections between needs and technologies; test extension-adoption using partnerships and demonstration sites; measure adoption; and disseminate its findings to farmers, researchers, and agricultural development practitioners in North-western Cambodia and Southeast Asia.
The project will enable and measure adoption of best practices by farmers in North-west Cambodia. It will also test an approach to changing farmers’ behaviour that could alter partnerships between poor, marginalised, and female farmers with the researchers, non-government organisation workers, donors, and government representatives who try to improve their lives.
Improved adoption of agricultural technology(ies) and/or best practices will increase farmers’ incomes, limit soil degradation and erosion caused by cassava production, and help farms adopt more environmentally sustainable methods.