Performance-based drivers of technology acceptance in solar drying of farm produce among smallholder okra farmers

Published: 23-05-2020| Version 2 | DOI: 10.17632/zzhrr2rhzw.2
Contributor:
Peter korsuk

Description

The drying rate of the solar dryer was operationalized as farmer perception that the solar dryer quickly drives out moisture from fresh okra. Key elements in this construct included: 1) preference of the solar dryer to other drying methods; 2) perception that the solar dryer is fast; and 3) the belief that the solar encourages farmers to use it. For the perceived quality of the solar-dried product, the focus is on whether the solar drying method gives a good quality product that is attractive to consumers. According, the study operationalizes this construct as; 1) farmer evaluative attitude towards quality of the solar-dried product, and 2) farmer affection towards the solar-dried product. Based on the assumption that both drying rate and perceived quality of solar-dried might be important factors for the farmer to accept to use solar dryers, this study hypothesized follows: H1: Drying rate of the solar dryer positively influences farmer acceptance of the solar dryer H2: Perceived quality of solar-dried product positively influences farmer acceptance of the solar dryer This study further presupposes that the marketability of the solar-dried product is the immediate precursor of farmer acceptance of the solar dryer. It is assumed that the farmer is likely to evaluate whether a solar-dried product is attractive to buyers prior to the acceptance of using the solar dryer. As derived from marketing attitudes literature, marketability of solar-dried products in this study relates to 1) evaluative attitude of ease of marketing; and 2) attractiveness to farmer and buyer of solar-dried product (Hegde et al., 2015; Kessy et al., 2018; Zhang et al., 2017). Thus, it is hypothesized as follows: H3: Drying rate of the solar dryer positively influences perceived marketability of the solar-dried product H4: Perceived quality of the solar-dried product positively influences perceived marketability of the solar-dried product H5: Perceived marketability of the solar-dried product positively influences farmer acceptance of the solar dryer We further test for the mediation relationships in this study as shown below: H6: Perceived marketability of solar-dried product mediates drying rate in predicting farmer acceptance of the solar dryer. H7: Perceived marketability of solar-dried product mediates quality of the solar-dried product in predicting farmer acceptance of solar dryer Primary data was collected from okra farmers who had participated in field-level experimentation and training on solar dryers using a pre-tested and semi-structured questionnaire during the period of October 2018 - November 2018. This questionnaire had open-ended questions that capture metric data on socio-economic variability including production data measured in kg, for instance, quantities harvested, dried and sold. Others information captured were on socio-demographics such as age in years, education, family size, land, and gender. farmer acceptance of solar dryers data was collected

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