Crop Biotech Update

Farmer Networks Crucial in Adoption of New Technologies

June 10, 2011

Engagement of local farmers and social and economic networks are crucial when new technologies are introduced to improve agricultural sustainability in developing countries. "Most people tend to think that technology information flows to farmers through a direct pipeline from scientists, but that isn't true," said Ellen McCullough, lead author of a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

"If scientists want to offer solutions to manage these environmental impacts, they need to understand what influences farmers' decisions about technology and production strategies," the former research fellow at Stanford's Program on Food Security and the Environment added.

The research team noted that collaborations among researchers, farmers and local establishments contribute to farmer adoption of successful innovation. Researchers, for instance, need to recognize "the dynamics of the local knowledge system and participate purposefully and strategically in it."

See Stanford's press release at