Tef Technology Adoption, Extension, Innovation System, and Food Security in Central Ethiopia: The Case of Selected Tef Growing Areas

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Addis Ababa University


Tef is a hugely important crop in Ethiopia in terms of both production and consumption. Demand foritefihasiriseniandiisiexpecteditoicontinueitoiriseidueitoipopulationigrowth, average incomes, andiurbanization. However, the tef production system is at a rudimentary stage and largely relies on traditional methods. As a result, the crop yield has not reached at the desired level to achieve household food security. Therefore, this study investigated the tef technology adoption, extension, innovation systems and household food security in Central Ethiopia. Given the multidisciplinary existence and various research units ranging from national to the individual level, different data collection and analysis methods were employed. A pragmatist approach was used that incorporated both quantitative and qualitative methods with multiple techniques for data collection and analysis. Additionally, secondary data were carefully reviewed and employed to supplement the firsthand data. Descriptive statistics and inferential statistics such as one-way ANOVA, t-test, and Chi-square tests were used to analyze quantitative data. Moreover, econometric models such as endogenous switching regression model (ESR), multivariate probit model (MVP), ordered probit model, Tobit model, and binary logistic regression model were employed. The Household Food Balance Model (HFBM) and other food security measurement techniques such as household dietary energy supply (DES), dietary diversity score (HDDS), and food consumption score (FCS) were used. Results revealed that the tef innovation system is not well-developed to support the livelihoods of smallholders due to systemic constraints in the innovation system. Limited capacity of existing actors, weak interactions among actors, weak enforcement of institutions, and inadequate infrastructure are the structural elements that have constrained the development of tef innovation system. The weaknesses in the innovation system have limited the development of innovation functions such as technology development, technology diffusion, entrepreneurship, market formation, resource mobilization, and legitimacy creation. Results further show that performance of the extension service delivery was significantly affected by weak enforcement of performance targets, limited interactions among actors, lack of rewards and sanctions, weak supervision and politically biased evaluation, limited involvement of DAs and other key actors in planning, evaluation, and decision-making process, weak technical competence and work motivation of DAs, lack of adequate facilities for Farmers Training Centers (FTCs), and lack of motorbikes. vi Results also indicate that improved tef technologies have the greatest impact on household food security when adopted in combinations rather than in isolation. Although combination of improved tef technologies has the greatest effect on household food security, the adoption rate was found to be low due to various determinants. The study identified education, household size, livestock holding, cooperative membership, credit, extension contacts, farmers‘ confidence with the skills of DAs, perception on economic return, and perception on participation in the extension service provision positively and significantly influence the adoption of a combination of improved technologies. While distance to the nearby extension office and distance to the output market has a negative and significant effect on the adoption of a combination of technologies. The study, furthermore, found that the number of improved technologies adopted is positively associated with education, livestock ownership, farm size, cooperatives membership, credit, extension contacts, training, farmers‘ confidence with the skills of DAs, farmers‘ perception on economic return, farmers‘ perception on participation in the extension service delivery. It is inversely related to distance to nearby extension offices and distance to market. It is concluded that the tef production system was not transformed for developing the tef subsector. Transforming smallholders‘ production system without addressing the systemic barriers of the tef R&D and the factors impeding performance of the extension system inhibits innovation. This situation calls for urgent institutional innovation in research, extension, NGOs, and other private actors. Therefore, a combination of technological, institutional, and technical intervention would be paramount to tackle the systemic constraints that impeded the development of the tef sub-sector. Besides, policymakers should be committed to the active participation of other non-state actors through policy support to make research, extension, and innovation processes viable and well-functioning and to have more interaction and work in a coordinated manner. Moreover, actors should have typically promoted the adoption of a combination of technologies through designing possible interventions for those factors that impede the use of a combination of improved technologies.



Adoption, agricultural technology, food security, innovation, tef