The impact of farmer training in Botswana in terms of its influence on farmers’ production efficiency is not well known. The objectives of this study have been to investigate the factors that determine the adoption and non-adoption of agricultural technologies, establish how farmers contribute to the training program, and determine the impact of the knowledge gained from the training program. A structured questionnaire was administered to 223 respondents, from these respondents 153 farmers attended training, twenty-one respondents were never trained, thirty-three were frontline extension agents, nine support staff, five instructors and two managers. The respondents were from five districts of Kgatleng, Kweneng south, and Kweneng north, Kweneng west, and Southeast. The study revealed that intervening variables are the determinants of behaviour change, and the effect of the independent variables is manifested in them. It was established that age, education and farm size seems to have an influence on adoption of technologies. While gender, farming experience, land ownership, and membership to farmer organization did not influence adoption of technologies. The results indicated that most of the farmers were not involved in identifying the courses they attended, as indicated by 65 percent of the respondents. This was confirmed by 80 percent of respondents who indicated that extension agents suggested the courses. The findings of the study show that most of the respondents agreed that knowledge gained from training is very useful. This was reported by 45 percent of respondents who indicated moderate impact on their production due to training, 46 percent indicated that they used the knowledge often, while 36 percent of respondents never used the knowledge since training. The most important factor revealed by the study contributing to non-adoption of technologies is lack of resources. This is related to need, perception and participation of farmers in identifying the courses they attend. During follow-ups made by extension staff on trained farmers, the results show that the status of acquired knowledge is usually negative; this was stated by 64% of the respondents, as such indicating that there was no implementation. This affirms the fact that 36 percent of respondents never used the knowledge, while 36 percent did not realize any impact at all on their production efficiency due to training. The study concluded that for training to be effective, extension has to address the needs and perception of trainees. This will address lack of resources, which contribute to non-adoption of technologies. Compatibility of acquired knowledge to the situation of respondents is another factor to be considered in training. It is concluded that the needs of respondents determine adoption behaviour, which finally influences production efficiency. Based on the findings of this study, factors identified to influence adoption and non-adoption of technologies and issues raised, it is recommended that more research should be done to address implementation of acquired knowledge and how to measure the impact of training.
Dissertation (MSc (Agricultural Extension))--University of Pretoria, 2007.