African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6693


Participatory technology development for agroforestry extension: an innovation-decision approach

M. S. Reed
Sustainability Research Institute, School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 05 May 2007
  •  Published: 31 August 2007



In order to facilitate Participatory Technology Development (PTD) in African agriculture, extensionists and scientists must collaborate with local innovators to optimise (where necessary) and disseminate their innovations.  This literature review proposes a conceptual model for PTD in which technology is developed in the context of an adoption cycle. Building on an innovation-decision approach, the characteristics of innovations that achieve widespread uptake are identified. The link between these characteristics and livelihood constraints and strategies, capital assets and the role of communication is emphasised. Although the agroforestry innovation-decision process occurs in the absence of external intervention, by understanding the characteristics of adoptable innovations in the context of adoption behaviour, it may be possible to identify new roles for extensionists and scientists.  They may be able to facilitate PTD through the identification of innovators and their innovations, optimise and adapt innovations with reference to the proposed model, and disseminate innovations to other smallholders who may benefit from them.


Key words: agroforestry; adoption; technology; public participation; Africa; innovation.