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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 879: IV International Symposium on Banana: International Conference on Banana and Plantain in Africa: Harnessing International Partnerships to Increase Research Impact

TRACKING THE SPILLOVER OF INTRODUCED TECHNOLOGIES: THE CASE OF IMPROVED BANANA (MUSA SPP.) GERMPLASM IN NORTHEAST TANZANIA

Authors:   J.G. Mowo, L.A. German, M.N. Kingamkono, K.F. Masuki
Keywords:   banana germplasm, social networks, technology spillover
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.2010.879.75
Abstract:
This paper reviews a methodology for tracking the pattern and extent of spillover of introduced technologies, using improved banana (Musa spp.) germplasm in Lushoto, Northeast Tanzania, as a case study. Such tracking is important in understanding the factors responsible for the spread of technologies and the accompanying farmer innovations. Spillover of technologies, as used here, refers to the spontaneous flow, or spread, of technologies between farmers using their social networks without external interference. Formal surveys, farmersí records and focus group discussions were used to establish the path taken and distance covered by the technology, the barriers encountered, and modifications made by farmers on the technology. Lessons derived from the study show that farmers made different modifications to the introduced technologies in order to fit them into the existing farming systems. The pattern of spillover is very much related to existing social networks in the community. Kin (nuclear and extended families) accounted for 53% of the spillover of improved banana germplasm, compared to 47% in non-kin (friends and neighbor) social networks. Improved banana suckers, introduced in Lushoto, were found as far as in Dar es Salaam; more than 300 km away. Gender bias was exhibited in the spontaneous sharing of cash generating technologies (cash crops) like banana, with exchanges between women being negligible. This paper highlights the key challenges and lessons, as well as illustrates the application of the findings, in improving delivery of research and extension services.

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