Adoption of climate‐smart agriculture among smallholder farmers: Does farmer entrepreneurship matter?

Daniel Kangogo*, Domenico Dentoni, Jos Bijman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Climate change poses significant challenges to agriculture, with serious impacts on smallholder farmers’ food security and livelihoods. Climate-smart agriculture (CSA) is being promoted to facilitate climate change adaptation and mitigation. While there is evidence that CSA supports smallholders’ adaption to climate change, the rate of CSA adoption remains low, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. Previous studies have explained the low adoption based on generic factors such as farm, farmer, institutional and location characteristics, yet little is known about the role of farmers’ cognitive traits. This study investigates the influence of farmer entrepreneurial orientation, a cognitive trait reflecting a farmer's innovativeness, proactiveness and propensity to take risks. We use data from smallholder potato farmers in Kenya and estimate a set of multivariate probit models to analyse the adoption decisions. Results show that risk-taking positively influences the adoption of irrigation, changing cultivation calendar, use of certified seed, crop rotation and soil testing. Proactiveness is positively related to the use of irrigation, changing the cultivation calendar and use of certified seed, while it is negatively related to intercropping. Contrary to our hypothesis that innovative farmers are more likely to adopt CSA practices, we find a negative relation between innovativeness and the use of certified seed. After categorizing CSA practices based on the main resources required, we find that risk-taking is positively associated with the adoption of practices that require high intensity of skilled labour and financial resources. Innovativeness is negatively associated with practices that require high intensity of financial resources. Lastly, we find proactiveness to be positively associated with the adoption of finance-intensive practices but negatively associated with unskilled-labour-intensive practices. These findings imply, first, that development practitioners should consider the interrelations among CSA practices and farmer entrepreneurial orientation in designing development interventions. Second, policy-makers need to create an environment conducive to farmer entrepreneurship as an indirect way to support the adoption of appropriate CSA practices.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105666
JournalLand Use Policy
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021


  • Adoption
  • Climate-smart agriculture
  • Farmer entrepreneurship
  • Kenya
  • Multivariate probit


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