Agricultural innovation characteristics and their utilization: A case of National Agricultural Research Organization

The research was carried out to assess the utilization of agricultural innovations in Uganda, using a case of the National Agricultural Research Organisation, with the following objectives: to establish the factors that influence development of agricultural innovations; to determine the relationship between agricultural innovation characteristics and utilization of innovations at farm level; and to examine the effect of market attributes on utilization of innovations in agriculture. Using a cross sectional survey research design, a survey mainly using structured questionnaires was carried out among the National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO) staff to establish factors that influence development of agricultural innovations. A total of 91 households involved in cassava, maize and rice production were interviewed in Kihiihi Sub-county, one of the sub-counties in Kanungu District where the NARO innovations on cassava, maize and rice have been promoted. The data was collected, coded, cleaned and analysed using SPSS to generate frequency tables and STATA to generate an ordered logistic regression of innovation characteristics and market attributes on utilization of agricultural innovations. The respondents agreed that it is important to consider the cost, relevance, and end-user opinion of agricultural innovations as important determinants of developing agricultural innovations. Respondents also agreed that in order to sustain innovations, agricultural research innovators need a clear plan on how innovations should be done (88% of respondents agreed), 91% of respondents agreed that regular information sharing among stakeholders and 94% agreed that the cost of the innovation process, are important factors in sustaining agricultural research innovations. Of the three commodities considered in this study, generation of new varieties emerged as the most important agricultural innovation in the community with 56%, 48% and 54% of the innovation on cassava, maize and rice respectively. The results also indicated that that there was a positive significant relationship between the attribute/characteristics of the varieties and the extent of utilization of varieties. In addition, regression results indicated that innovation characteristics such as relative advantage, compatibility, triability and, other variables such as gender, age, education had a significant effect (p<0.05) on innovation utilization by farming communities. However, complexity had a negative significant effect. The age of respondents had a negative significant effect on the utilization of the innovations, while education had a positive significant effect on utilization of innovation.
A Dissertation Submitted to the Directorate of Postgraduate Training in Partial fulfilment of the Requirements for the Award of a Master of Business Administration of Kabale University
Agricultural innovation, characteristics and their utilization