Farmers’ Acceptance of a Micro-irrigation System: A Focus Group Study
- UTAUT model, Focus group, climate change, Micro-irrigation, Technology acceptance
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Copyright (c) 2023 Maria Sabbagh, Luciano Gutierrez
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Despite water scarcity and lots of benefits, implementation of micro-irrigation systems on potato crops in the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon is notably low. This could be related to farmers’ acceptance to use this technique. The objective of this study is to investigate the factors that can affect or not the adoption and the investment in a new micro-irrigation system. For this aim, the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology (UTAUT) served as the conceptual framework. A qualitative approach using focus group discussion was applied. A total of 34 farmers in six focus groups were conducted in the three main districts of the Bekaa Valley. From the analysis, performance expectancy, effort expectancy and facilitating conditions emerged as the three most prominent factors to understand farmers’ acceptance and adoption of micro-irrigation systems. The focus group findings indicated that potato farmers are willing to adopt a new micro-irrigation system if they ensure its provision in gains, its reduction of time and effort correlated with the farming activities. Barriers included lack of knowledge about the system, financial capabilities and extension services. Generally speaking, participants were enthusiastic about the idea to adopt a micro-irrigation system, but they are hindered by the unstable socio-economic conditions in Lebanon and the financial abilities. It was concluded that age, experience and voluntariness of use exert an effect on the related major determinants. This study will provide recommendations that can be considered while drafting agricultural policies.