Itis indubitable that, for every country in the world, agriculture is anindispensable sector that accelerates economic growth and development. Socio-economicand institutional factors play an important role in the adoption of newtechnology by the farmers. According to Babatunde et al. (2010) financialcapital appears to be the most limiting factorfor farming, so that cash income from off-farm activities can help to expandfarm production. Schneider and Gugerty (2011) conceive that real incomechanges, employment generation, rural non-farm multiplier and food priceeffects are some of the significant changes that increased agriculturalproduction and thereby reduce poverty. As per the Rio + 20 conferences,smallholder farmers and smallholder agricultural production are pertinent tomeet Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) particularly reducing hunger andpoverty (Vargas-Lundius, 2012).
Byerlee et al. (2005) posited that if there ishigher agriculturalproduction and growth per worker where there is abundant labor force, povertyreduction ratewould be high. In the same line of reference, production and productivityincrement, therefore, will increase or at least bring a positive change in theincome of smallholder farmers; increase linkages between rural and urban productionrequirements and reduce poverty. Similarly, the finding by Jayne et al.
(2010)in Kenya, Malawi, Zambia, andMozambique tell that, abundant maize production has had increased the income ofsmallholder farmers and poverty has been reduced. According toKende-Robb (2013) in Kenya; Diao and Pratt (2007) and Samuel (2006) inEthiopia purportthat, agriculture has reduced poverty twice as fast as other sectors. Genderis one of the significant determinants of agricultural production sincemale-headed and female-headed households could not have the same capability andendurance inenhancing agricultural production; where the male-headed are stronger (Nyangaet al.
, 2012). In Kenya, Ekbom et al. (2012) found that female-headedhouseholds are inefficient and unproductive compared with their counter parts.According to Malek and Usami (2010) male-headed households expend more on externalinputs at their farm. Male-headed households are better off to get agriculturalinformation and to take risks (Abay and Assefa, 2004). Adebiyi and Okunlola(2013) reported that, in Nigeria, unlike their counter parts, females moreengage in off-farm activities like in selling agricultural products, storingand packing them out.
This indicates that, male did pay attention for theirfarm work and do better adopt farm rehabilitation techniques, inputs forsufficient production. Lugandu (2013) reported that in Tanzania, male-headedhouseholds has had adopted conservation agricultural technologies as comparedwith female-headed. This does not mean that female-headed households arereluctant to adopt agricultural technologies, but their decision is being challengedor influenced by their family members or beyond. In the same reference of line,Uwagboe et al. (2012) agreed that different social and institutional factorsdid hold back female-headed households in practicing integrated pest managementtechnologies where their effort in agricultural production is beingcompromised.
In Ethiopia, work division culture makes female-headed householdsless effective in production; like taking perishable products to the marketunlike males (Tewodaj et al., 2009).Levelof education and age of farmers also among the key factors those affectsadoption of new innovative technologies. Education is the key factor thatdetermines agricultural production in adopting inputs in general and managementpractices (Uwagboe et al., 2012). Researchers like Shumet (2011); Chiputwa etal. (2011); Askal (2010);Anyanwu (2009) reported that educated farmers have a better access foragricultural information that is pertinent for decision making on what and whento produce; to adopt and use inputs efficiently thereby increase production.Thierfelder and Wall (2011) inferred that education as a source of knowledgehas had resulted in adoption of the new techniques.
Abay and Assefa, 2004 reported that youngerfarmers are risk takers for what they adopt and for yield uncertainties.Whatever other reasons might be, in Kenya, Ekbom et al. (2012) found that olderfarmers with better accumulated experience are more efficient than youngerfarmers. Institutionalfactors are crucial for increasing agricultural production and food sufficiencyby solving liquidity problem, making accessible agricultural inputs,consultancy services and the like.
These could include credit, extensionfunctionaries, and agricultural cooperatives. Smallholder farmers are lackingin access of agricultural production techniques and inputs due to creditrationing or liquidity constraint as a result agricultural production becomeliable to dwindle explained by Anyanwu (2011). Adebiyi and Okunlola (2013)explained that credit is worth enough for farmers in such a way that creditavailability turns off the cash limitation and allow farmers to purchase inputson time and produce stable production. Amongthe other stakeholders, extension service being activated by department ofagriculture is paramount importance for enhancing agricultural production.Department of agriculture is the closest stakeholder to farmers and plays keyrole in instigating farmers to use agricultural inputs. Genius et al.
(2013)concluded that the role of department of agriculture is transferringinformation to farmers and thereby shaping their activities. Genius et al.(2013) further argued that extension services and farmer-farmer contact arebasic points that determine technology adoption and diffusion; and both aremutually supportive.
Kizito and Steve (2009) explained about adoption ofconservation farming in Zimbabwe, following promotional efforts were being madeby extension agencies aiming to improve food security among vulnerable farmers.The technologies were adopted by all groups of farmers including elderlyfarmers. The Tobit model results show that extension access, NGO support,increased plot size and agro-ecological location significantly influences theintensity of adopting different components of conservation farming. Activesupport by both NGOs and government made changes through the supply of seed,fertilizer, and training increased the likelihood of conservation farmingadoption. The well-being of the farming society depends on proper adoption anduse of innovative new technologies such as conservation agriculture etc.