Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Sociology and Anthropology


Agricultural development programs in many developing countries are failing to achieve the goal of self sufficiency in food because farmers have negative attitudes toward the programs or recommended practices. Farmers may resist new practices due to their inappropriateness and the cultural, social, psychological, economic, and bureaucratic constraints within the community. Unfortunately, research on the adoption and diffusion process has been largely confined to developed countries. The purpose of this dissertation is to identify factors affecting farmers' participation in agricultural development programs in a developing country situation. The theoretical model emphasizes farmer motivation for participating in and adopting recommended practices;The universe of the study was small farm operators in Sierra Leone and the target population included residents within the Adaptive Crop Research and Extension (ACRE) project locations. Data were obtained from an equal number of ACRE project participating and nonparticipating farmers (376 total) between February and March, 1982. Percentages, means, variance, standard deviations, Pearson zero-order correlations and stepwise multiple regressions were used for data analysis;It was found that ACRE project contact farmers tend to be older, operate larger farms and are more influential than noncontact farmers. Farmers prefer to adopt those innovations which satisfy their security needs, are less complex, require less time to use and are less labor demanding. It was also found that the greatest predictor of farmers' adoption scores is individual goals in farming. A weak relationship was found between farmer motivation and adoption scores. Among the motivation strategies, farmer recognition was found to have the greatest influence on adoption scores. Farmer motivation was in turn determined by farmers' socioeconomic status and economic constraints;From a program implementation perspective, several factors such as farmers' characteristics and their economic limitations need to be considered by planners of agricultural development programs. To alleviate clientele economic constraints, a supervised agricultural credit system is suggested.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Amadu Muhamed Bangura



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File Size

144 pages

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Social Work Commons