This study was conducted in Lower Gweru Communal area of Zimbabwe to determine the perceptions of extension agents on factors affecting small-scale resource-constrained farmersâ€™ technology adoption and innovation processes. The effects of extension agentsâ€™ working conditions on the quality of service delivery to farmers were also investigated. Data were collected by means of semi-structured interviews conducted with all the 21 extension personnel working in Lower Gweru Communal area. It was found that extension agents perceived the lack of in-service training, transport, poor remuneration and high extension agent to farmer ratios to be main reasons hindering them to offer high quality services to farmers resulting in poor technology adoption. Furthermore respondents indicated that although farmers had the capacity to innovate and to adopt technology in the form of indigenous knowledge, experiences, willingness to learn, commitment and labour, they had challenges. These challenges include lack of capital to acquire technology, lack of information support on how to use new technology and lack of markets. Agents suggested the strengthening of farmer-extension-research linkages so that technologies could be developed from some successful indigenous innovations, where possible and also to ensure the development of technology tailor-made to farmersâ€™ needs, resource-endowments and biophysical conditions of their farming communities.
Keywords: AGRITEX, extension; innovation; small-scale farmers; technology adoption