Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Understanding Smallholder Farmers’ Intention to Adopt Agricultural Apps: The Role of Mastery-Approach and Innovation Hubs

Version 1 : Received: 15 December 2020 / Approved: 16 December 2020 / Online: 16 December 2020 (08:33:48 CET)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Molina-Maturano, J.; Verhulst, N.; Tur-Cardona, J.; Güereña, D.T.; Gardeazábal-Monsalve, A.; Govaerts, B.; Speelman, S. Understanding Smallholder Farmers’ Intention to Adopt Agricultural Apps: The Role of Mastery Approach and Innovation Hubs in Mexico. Agronomy 2021, 11, 194. Molina-Maturano, J.; Verhulst, N.; Tur-Cardona, J.; Güereña, D.T.; Gardeazábal-Monsalve, A.; Govaerts, B.; Speelman, S. Understanding Smallholder Farmers’ Intention to Adopt Agricultural Apps: The Role of Mastery Approach and Innovation Hubs in Mexico. Agronomy 2021, 11, 194.

Journal reference: Agronomy 2021, 11, 194
DOI: 10.3390/agronomy11020194

Abstract

While current studies have focused on adoption and the relevant content of the app to become a decision support system, very few studies have focused on the farmer's intention and initial decision to adopt. Based on a survey of 394 smallholder farmers this study investigated Mexican farmers’ willingness to adopt an agricultural advice app. A Structural Equation Modelling approach, based on the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) was applied. To understand farmers’ adoption decision, extended constructs were studied (e.g. mastery-approach goals) along with farmers’ age and participation in an innovation hub. Results showed that the intention to adopt the app is predicted by how farmers believe that technical infrastructure exists and by the expectation of the farmers using the app to acquire new knowledge. The multi-group analysis revealed that performance expectancy is a relevant predictor of the intention to adopt, whereas the mastery-approach goal is relevant only for younger and farmers not connected to the innovation hub. The results may well be a baseline to research further suitable non-financial incentives for different farmers’ groups, then encourage initial adoption and enhance uptake. The findings are useful for practitioners and app developers designing digital decision support tools.

Subject Areas

structural equation modelling; smallholder farmers; smartphone apps; decision support systems; unified theory of acceptance and use of technology; innovation hubs, mastery-approach goal

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