Given the stagnant agricultural productivity and persistent food insecurity in low-income countries—notably in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA)—there has been continued interest in the adoption of new technology and its impact on productivity in these regions. Interestingly, there are signs of Green Revolution in maize and rice in SSA, reflected in sharply increasing yield trends in advanced regions. To increase crop yields and sustain yield gains, recent case studies of technology adoption unanimously recommend the adoption of integrated farm management systems, particularly in SSA. On the other hand, since the 2010s, there have been increasing numbers of studies on social network or farmer-to-farmer technology extension. These studies explore more efficient extension systems than traditional public-sector extension approaches.
This article reviews both recent case studies of technology adoption and its productivity impacts as well as studies on agricultural extension to identify common findings, shortcomings, and major remaining issues.
Keywords: technology adoption, productivity impact, agricultural extension, technological diffusion