INFLUENCE OF SOCIAL CAPITAL ON THE ADOPTION OF AGRICULTURAL VALUE CHAIN TECHNOLOGIES DISSEMINATED BY THE AFRICAN INSTITUTE FOR CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT IN NAIROBI; KENYA
NATO, GODFFREY NYONGESA
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Various studies underscore the fact that agricultural productivity can be improved through use of modern and appropriate technologies that address the agricultural value chain. However, it has been noted that even when farmers have been trained on the technologies, adoption levels remain low. Whilst it is becoming increasingly evident that social capital may be an important factor influencing adoption of technologies, a dearth of empirical evidence to support this perspective, particularly in developing countries necessitates attention by researchers. The purpose of this study was to examine the role of social capital in influencing the adoption of agricultural value chain technologies and practices in Kenya. In particular, the study focused on how group participation, social trust, social solidarity, social networks and collective action influence the adoption of agricultural value chain technologies and practices disseminated by the African Institute for Capacity Development (AICAD). The study utilized a survey research design in which a structured interview schedule was used to collect data from 120 respondents who were beneficiaries of AICAD training programmes. Survey questions were analyzed using descriptive statistics, correlation coefficient and Linear Regression Model (LRM). The results established that age of the beneficiaries and farm size were the most critical household characteristics influencing adoption of agricultural value chain technologies. Age of beneficiary influenced adoption negatively, while farm size exerted positive influence on adoption. The results further confirmed that bridging social capital, represented by group involvement and social networks, was positively associated with and significantly influenced adoption of appropriate agricultural value chain technologies. Conversely, bonding social capital, represented by social trust, social support and collective action were negatively associated with but did not significantly influence adoption of agricultural value chain technologies. Based on these findings, it is recommended that capacity building programmes incorporate social networking components in their programmes and strengthen the group approach in dissemination of technologies. It is also recommended that further research should focus on providing more empirical and qualitative data on the role of bonding social capital in technology adoption.