Information exchange links, knowledge exposure, and adoption of agricultural technologies in northern Uganda

Kelvin Mashisia Shikuku*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Direct training of selected individuals as disseminating farmers (DFs) can help to implement a farmer to farmer extension approach. This study systematically examines the relationship between social distance and the likelihood of information exchange, subsequently evaluating effects on awareness, knowledge, and adoption of drought-tolerant (DT) varieties of maize, disease-resistant varieties of groundnuts and conservation farming. Using a panel dataset from northern Uganda, the study combines matching techniques with difference-in-difference (DID) approach and employs two-stage least squares regression (2SLS) to identify causal effects. The study finds an increased likelihood of information exchange when the DF is female, regardless of the sex of the neighbour. The likelihood of information exchange increased when distance in farm size cultivated with maize was larger than the median in the sub-village. In terms of non-agricultural assets index, there was an increased likelihood of information exchange both when the distance was smaller and greater than the village median. Information exchange links improved awareness and knowledge for all of the technologies, but only increased adoption of maize varieties. Together, these findings suggest that social distance shapes the diffusion of agricultural knowledge even when DFs are selected by the community to be “representative” and reinforces that social learning can help to address informational constraints to adoption of agricultural technologies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)94-106
JournalWorld Development
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019


  • Adoption
  • Climate smart agriculture
  • Farmer to farmer extension
  • Information exchange links
  • Social learning
  • Uganda

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