Under what circumstances and conditions does adoption of technology result in increased agricultural productivity? A systematic review.

This review focuses on technology for food crop production in low and lower middle income countries

Abstract

This review focuses on technology for food crop production in low and lower middle income countries (LLMIC) and the productivity gains farmers achieve when adopting them. It is also concerned with other impacts, positive and negative, that may accrue, for example with respect to health, food security or environmental services. Both individually and collectively managed technologies are considered.

It has two main objectives:

  • Providing policy makers and practitioners a more realistic understanding of the outcomes that can be expected from technological change as well as of the opportunities to shape the innovation environment so as to favour a productive agriculture supporting broad-based livelihoods;
  • Informing the academic community on key gaps in evidence and on the evolution of theory and its drivers in this field.

A total of 20,299 papers were screened at the first stage (for relevance to the study’s topic, based on title and abstract), of which 214 passed through to the second stage (assessment against 6 criteria relating to conceptual clarity and methodological and contextual detail based on the full paper). Only 5 of these papers passed and were candidates for in-depth review. Those not passing the second stage screening failed against two criteria: they did not clearly define technology \"adoption\" and/or they did not describe a clear and adequate method for assessing change in productivity. The 5 papers were scattered across the 10 technology groups considered. This is too small a body of studies on which to proceed to the final stages of systematic review: the in-depth review and synthesis of evidence.

The authors consider why the quality of evidence in this area is so poor and why the demand for it appears to be so ineffectively expressed.

Citation

Loevinsohn, M.; Sumberg, J.; Diagne, A.; Whitfield, S. Under what circumstances and conditions does adoption of technology result in increased agricultural productivity? A systematic review. Institute of Development Studies, Brighton, UK (2013) vi + 31 pp.

Under what circumstances and conditions does adoption of technology result in increased agricultural productivity? A systematic review.

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