The effect of knowledge on farmers’ intercropping adoption decisions

Last changed: 22 May 2023
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Frida Svensson, Agricultural Economics and Management - Master's programme


Intercropping can make efficient use of available growth resources, increase crop biodiversity and natural biodiversity, increase yields, and reduce land degradation. This makes intercropping sustainable from both an economic and environmental point of view, making the uptake of the practise important for future sustainable agricultural. For decades the agricultural sector has evolved around mono cropping. It is therefore a risk that farmers knowledge is not adequate for the cultivation of intercropping since it requires techniques and knowledge that is harder to acquire for the farmer. This study will therefore examine how farmers’ formal and informal knowledge affect their decision to adopt intercropping. Thereby this study contributes to an understanding of the role of knowledge in the progression towards a more sustainable agriculture. Better understanding of how farmers’ knowledge affect adoption decisions is useful for shaping policies, information programmes, and agricultural training to spread the uptake of intercropping. Based on the utility maximisation theory a farmer will chose to adopt intercropping if the expected utility of intercropping is higher than other cropping practises. So, a Cargg’s double-hurdle model was used to examine how farmers’ formal and informal knowledge effects the decision to adopt and the decision around optimal land use for intercropping. The results shows that adoption decision is positively related to self-reported intercropping knowledge and negatively associated with agricultural training. A higher level of formal education, agricultural training, and years of farming experience is associated with lower intercropping intensity.


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