Research from the University of Kent’s School of Economics sheds new light on a long-standing obstacle to improving agricultural productivity in developing countries: the reluctance of small-scale farmers to adopt modern technologies because of the risks associated with them.
The paper, published in Science Direct, examined the relationship between attitudes towards risk among small-scale aquafarmers in Ghana and the time they take to adopt new technologies that reduce traditional risks, including; poor weather conditions, aquatic predators and poor hygiene.
The researchers conducted a series of psychological experiments with aquafarmers in 30 villages in four regions in southern Ghana to measure their aversion to risk and willingness to take gambles. They also recorded the aquafarmers’ adoption of three innovative technologies recently introduced to Ghana: predator-proof floating cages for fish; a nutrient-rich fish feed; and a fast-growing, disease-resistant breed of tilapia fish.
Results showed that aversion to traditional production risks accelerated the