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Revista mexicana de ciencias pecuarias

On-line version ISSN 2448-6698Print version ISSN 2007-1124


SANCHEZ GOMEZ, Julia; RENDON MEDEL, Roberto; CERVANTES ESCOTO, Fernando  and  LOPEZ TIRADO, Quito. Role of change agents in innovation adoption by smallholder sheep farmers. Rev. mex. de cienc. pecuarias [online]. 2013, vol.4, n.3, pp.305-318. ISSN 2448-6698.

The purpose of the present study was analyzing the role of change agents in an innovation adoption and persistence process regarding sheep farmers owning 25 or less ewes. In this case, the change agent was a group of professionals working for sheep producers interested in promoting a quick adoption of innovations. A total of 78 sheep farmers were surveyed at the beginning of the present study and 22 mo afterwards the change agent stopped visiting production units and left. Low cost and investment innovations easy to implement, showing visible results and with clear benefits in the short term, focused on key producers chosen through social network analysis were promoted. Increase in the innovation adoption rate was significant (P<0.01). Innovation adoption by producers receiving direct advice was greater than by those receiving indirect advice (P<0.01). Persistence of innovation use after the change agent left was greater in the direct advice group was greater too than in those receiving indirect advice. It can be concluded that change agents focused on both easy to adopt innovations and key producers contribute decisively in smallholder sheep farmer capacity building. However, change agents should develop strategies aimed at producers receiving indirect advice through workshops and sharing of experiences as they show a propensity to diversify their sources of knowledge.

Keywords : Rural innovation; Innovation adoption; Innovation promotion; Change agent.

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