Common bean represents the second staple crop in the Kenyan highlands. Decreasing yields and overpopulation in this area demand an intensification of food production. The Kenyan Agricultural Research Institute (KARI Embu) has been promoting improved climbing bean varieties in order to boost yields. To quantify the impact of this work, a survey was done in order to (i) assess awareness, trial and adoption rates of climbing beans by local farmers and (ii) acquire insight in this adoption process. This more detailed analysis of the various adoption stages is the paper’s unique contribution to the adoption literature. At the time of the survey, 90% of the farmers were aware of climbing beans, about 40% had grown climbing beans on their farms at least for one season (test/trial) and only about 11% had maintained its production (adoption). Climbing beans seem to be more popular at higher altitudes where they are grown on small areas. Increasing age of the household head, contact with extension services and farmer-to-farmer transmission are important for awareness and testing climbing beans. A serious limitation for both trial and adoption is the poor availability of seed. From this study, recommendations were made on how to improve climbing bean awareness, trial and adoption.
Key words: Climbing bean, technology diffusion, technology adoption, farm-household survey, Heckman two-stage procedure, Kenyan highlands.
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