Low agricultural technology adoption rate in occupational caste group 


Excerpts from an agricultural research Impact study report:


The adoption and associated impact of agricultural technologies in the western hills of Nepal


This report summarizes the results of an adoption study conducted in 1994/95 in the western hills of Nepal, to determine the level and extent of adoption of 15 selected field crop, horticulture, livestock and forestry technologies. The study formed part of an evaluation of the research impact of Lumle Agricultural Research Centre, and aimed to identify lessons for the future conduct of research and research-extension linkages.



There was a consistent and significant effect of ethnic group on adoption for all technologies except barley, grain legumes, vegetables and crossbreeds. The dominant pattern was for the Occupational caste group to have significantly lower levels of adoption (in nine of the fifteen technologies). Differences between Brahmin/Chhetri and the Gurung/Magar and ‘other’ ethnic groups were more variable. The results for awareness and trying [of technologies] suggest that low adoption amongst Occupational caste households results from low rates of trying (i.e. the tried/aware adoption step).


For most technologies, adoption amongst Gurung/ Magar households was not significantly different to those for Brahmin/Chhetri households. The exceptions were the significantly lower adoption by the Gurung/Magar of improved rice and wheat varieties, vegetable seed production and parasitic drenching, and higher adoption of improved finger millet varieties and fodder tree planting. These relatively small differences may simply reflect the altitudinal stratification of these ethnic groups and technologies; Gurung/Magar and maize/finger millet production systems predominate in the high hills and Brahmin/Chhetri and rice-wheat systems predominate in the middle and low hills.


These results provide evidence of a systematic disadvantage for Occupational caste households with respect to adoption of new technologies. Occupational caste households are, however, traditionally less dependent than other groups on agricultural production for their livelihoods.

Full article on this study:


C.N. Floyd, A.H. Harding, K.C. Paddle, D.P. Rasali, K.D. Subedi and P.P. Subedi 1999. The adoption and associated impact of technologies in the western hills of Nepal. The Overseas Development Institute, London, UK. Agricultural Research & Extension (AgREN) Network Paper No. 90.


Floyd, C, Harding, A-H, Paudel, KC, Rasali, DP, Subedi, K and Subedi, PP. 2003. Household adoption and associated impact of multiple agricultural technologies in the Western hills of Nepal. Agricultural Systems, 76: 715-738.