On March 11, representatives of the Bern University of Applied Sciences, School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences (HAFL), Dominic Blaettler (Ph.D. Social Sciences, Professor of Rural Development and Innovation, BFH-HAFL) and Pia Fehle (MSc Agricultural Sciences, Research Associate, BFH-HAF) visited ISET in the framework of the HAFL-ISET/APRC initiative. The initiative, which is financed by the Seed Funding Grant of the Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI), aims to pool resources to provide applied research for rural development interventions in the South Caucasus.
Prior to the meeting with various stakeholders involved in agriculture and rural development in Georgia, HAFL representatives gave a presentation entitled ‘Ex-ante assessment of the adoption potential of a technological innovation in agriculture: a case study from South India'. The objective of the seminar was to discuss farmers’ characteristics that affect their decision to adopt new technologies.
The presenters emphasized the need to match new technologies with farmers’ circumstances and their corresponding needs. The findings of the study (which is based on an extensive literature review about factors influencing the adoption of innovations, a qualitative preparatory study, a quantitative survey with 192 and 216 respondents in the two sites in India, and a qualitative follow-up) suggest that it is crucial to understand the ‘on the ground’ situation of farmers and their needs prior to the development of new technologies and to involve farmers in a genuinely participatory manner throughout the innovation development process.