Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Empowerment and Tech Adoption: Introducing the Treadle Pump Triggers Farmers’ Innovation in Eastern Ethiopia

Version 1 : Received: 4 May 2018 / Approved: 7 May 2018 / Online: 7 May 2018 (08:29:29 CEST)
Version 2 : Received: 14 August 2018 / Approved: 15 August 2018 / Online: 15 August 2018 (04:08:07 CEST)

How to cite: Beyene, S.; Regassa, T.; Legesse, B.; Mamo, M.; Tadesse, T. Empowerment and Tech Adoption: Introducing the Treadle Pump Triggers Farmers’ Innovation in Eastern Ethiopia. Preprints 2018, 2018050108 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201805.0108.v1). Beyene, S.; Regassa, T.; Legesse, B.; Mamo, M.; Tadesse, T. Empowerment and Tech Adoption: Introducing the Treadle Pump Triggers Farmers’ Innovation in Eastern Ethiopia. Preprints 2018, 2018050108 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201805.0108.v1).

Abstract

In 2013, thirty-eight treadle pumps (TPs) were installed as low-cost technology introduction for small-scale irrigation in eastern Ethiopia. The pilot project also included training of selected farmers on well excavation, installation and maintenance of pumps. In June 2015, researchers visited nine of the 38 TP sites, and found only two functional TPs. The rest were replaced with a new technology. Farmers who adopted the new technology stated that the limited water output and high labor demand of the conventional TP did not optimally fulfil their irrigation water requirements. The new hybrid technologies have spread quickly to more than one hundred households due to three key factors. First, farmers’ innovative modifications of the initial excavation technique addressed the discharge limitations of the conventional TP by excavating boreholes with wider diameter. Second, community ownership of the new technology, including local skills used in well drilling and fabricating excavation implement, made the new irrigation technology affordable and accessible to a higher number of households, leading to faster diffusion of the technology. Third, this innovation has spread organically without any external support. Adoption of the new technology enabled some farmers to accumulate enough resources to diversify their livelihoods into non-farm activities.

Subject Areas

irrigation; technology adoption; farmers’ innovation; diffusion

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