Micro-Irrigation Technology Adoption in the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon: A Behavioural Model
23 Pages Posted: 28 Feb 2022
Potato crops are one of the main sources of income for farmers living in the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon. Given their high sensitivity to water stress, water shortages can cause considerable losses in terms of potato yield and quality. To overcome this challenge, the use of water-saving technologies such as micro-irrigation systems are highly important. However, the adoption of this technique remains quite low among potato farmers in the Bekaa region, who still use ordinary sprinkler systems. In this study, the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology (UTAUT) served as the conceptual framework for investigating these farmers’ behaviour in adopting a new micro-irrigation system. To achieve this objective, we extend the UTAUT model by considering farmers’ risk perception of the use of a new micro-irrigation technology. The moderators tested were age, previous experience, voluntariness of use, gross unit margin and educational level. Examining the standard regression coefficients, i.e. the β weights, the results indicate that the performance expectancy raises the behavioural intention to invest in micro-irrigation (β=0.29) while for the effort expectancy the β weight value is 0.24. Overall, an increase of 1 standard deviation of the behavioural intention strongly impacts the investment in micro-irrigation system being the statistic β=0.8 standard deviation of the effective adoption of the technology. Risk perception (β = -0.08) negatively affects farmers’ performance expectancy, i.e. the higher the perceived risk, the lower will be the perceived performance of the investment, and then their intention to use micro-irrigation systems. Age (β = 0.11) exerts a significant effect on the effort expectancy. Finally, in the paper the policy implications of the previous results are discussed.
Keywords: Behavioural model, water scarcity, Micro-irrigation, Technology adoption, Structural equation model
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