Factors influencing technology adoption among smallholder farmers: a systematic review in Africa

Oluwamayokun Anjorin Fadeyi, Anoma Ariyawardana, Ammar A. Aziz


Smallholder agriculture has been identified to be critical in the creation of employment, improving food security and improving the economy. However, smallholder agriculture in Africa is characterised by a low production level which has been linked to the limited use of technologies. Several factors influence the adoption of technologies among smallholder farmers in Africa. This systematic literature review focuses on the factors influencing technology adoption among smallholder farmers in Africa and identified 128 peer-reviewed papers in English between January 2000 to December 2019. The majority were carried out in Kenya, Uganda, and Malawi, with the major crops being maize, legumes and rice. This review identified 29 factors that were broadly classified into five main categories: (i) farmers’ characteristics; (ii) farm characteristics; (iii) technology characteristics; (iv) institutional factors; and (v) finance. Of these, finance (81 articles), gender of household head (71 articles), age (68 articles), education (64 articles), farm size (62 articles) and extension access (59 articles) are the most prominent factors mentioned. The factors identified in this review were then related to existing technology adoption theories, and it was concluded that finance does not adequately feature in any of these extant theories. As illustrated by the relatively high occurrence of finance, this review puts forward a comprehensive framework for technology adoption and also provides critical recommendations to improve technology adoption among smallholder farmers in Africa.


Adoption, Agriculture, Finance, Smallholder farmers, Technology adoption

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.17170/kobra-202201195569

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