Farmers’ Intention to Adopt Agronomic Biofortification: The Case of Iodine Biofortified Vegetables in Uganda

Article Authors: by Nathaline Onek Aparo 1,2,*,†ORCID,Solomon Olum 3,†ORCID,Alice Onek Atimango 1,2,Walter Odongo 2ORCID,Bonny Aloka 4ORCID,Duncan Ongeng 3,Xavier Gellynck 1 andHans De Steur

Abstract

Agronomic biofortification, the application of fertilizer to increase micronutrient concentrations in staple food crops, has been increasingly promoted as a valuable approach to alleviate micronutrient deficiencies, but its success inevitably depends on farmers’ acceptance and adoption. By using iodine fertilizers as a case, this study aimed to understand vegetable farmers’ intentions to adopt agronomic biofortification. Therefore, the focus is on the potential role of socio-psychological factors, derived from two well-established theoretical models in explaining adoption intentions. Data from a cross-sectional survey of 465 cowpea and cabbage farmers from a high-risk region of Uganda were analyzed using binary logistic regression. The findings show that 75% of the farmers are likely to adopt agronomic iodine biofortification and are willing to devote a substantial part of their land to this innovation. Farmers’ intention to adopt strongly depends on their attitude and control beliefs regarding iodine biofortification, vegetable type, access to extension services, and farmland size. This study highlights the crucial role that behavioral and attitude factors play in communities at risk for nutritional disorders’ potential acceptance and sustained implementation of vegetable biofortification. To reinforce the observed positive inclination towards iodine biofortification among vegetable farmers, it is essential to increase awareness of the benefits, potential risks, and consequences of iodine deficiency, accompanied by motivational strategies to enhance farmers’ inherent beliefs in their ability to implement this innovation.

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Links https://www.researchgate.net/deref/https%3A%2F%2Fdoi.org%2F10.3390%2Fhorticulturae9030401
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Affiliation
1
Division of Agri-Food Marketing and Chain Management, Department of Agricultural Economics, Ghent University, Coupure Links 653, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
2
Department of Rural Development and Agribusiness, Gulu University, Gulu P.O. Box 166, Uganda
3
Department of Food Science and Postharvest Technology, Gulu University, Gulu P.O. Box 166, Uganda
4
Department of Science and Vocational Education, Lira University, Lira P.O. Box 1035, Uganda
*
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These authors contributed equally to this work.