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ADOPTION OF INDUSTRIAL TECHNOLOGIES BY RURAL ENTREPRENEURS: A CASE STUDY OF ENTERPRISES IN MARIMANTI, THARAKA SOUTH DISTRICT- KENYA
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ABSTRACT

The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of technology adoption on small rural farmland enterprises. Further, this study sought to find out the factors that influence adoption of these technologies in a rural set up. The study was designed to investigate the types, nature, quality and quantity of services the stockists of the technologies provide to the entrepreneurs. The study also endeavored to find the welfare the entrepreneurs derive from using the technologies and how their use impacts on the businesses.

The research reviewed literature on reasons for technology adoption such as amount of effort the solutions require from the user (Terald & Collins,(2009),perceived ease of use, Davis (2003),process of innovation communication, Rogers (2003),government policy Baranson (1969) ‘Technical Factors’, Steward (1978) and cost of installation, Nzamba (2007). The research adopted Roger’s Diffusion of innovation theory which posits that diffusion of innovation in a social unit occurs through communication and interaction between persons.

The research was based at Marimanti in Tharaka and utilized mixed methodology of both quantitative and qualitative approaches. Focus group guide, key informant interview schedule, observation guide and questionnaire were tools of data collection.

The findings of this study were: use guarantee and provision of manual is offered to all entrepreneurs, few shops provided routine maintenance while others provided both part servicing and repair on appointment service. Entrepreneurs liked services provided. Adoption of technologies was influenced by factors like technology cost, ease of use, government policy, and ‘Technical factors’. The study established that entrepreneur’s welfare improved upon adoption of technology, their earnings and food self-sufficiency improved and they had more clothes varieties to use.

The study recommended that: the shop keepers undertake sales and marketing course to sharpen their marketing skills; and that entrepreneurs to build more spacious and special stores and shelves for safe storage and display of the products. The research suggests investigation on skewed male preference for technology adoption and customer preference on other energy sources other than solar panel and generators. 

http://erepository.uonbi.ac.ke/handle/11295/9016