A recipe for success? Learning from the rapid adoption of improved chickpea varieties in Ethiopia

Many studies detail constraints deemed responsible for the limited adoption of new technologies among smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa. By contrast, here we study the conditions that led to the remarkably fast spread of improved chickpea varieties in Ethiopia. Within just seven years, the adoption rate rose from 30 to 80% of the farmers. A combination of factors explains the rapid uptake. Their attraction lay in superior returns and disease resistance. Chickpea was already an important crop for rural households in the studied districts, for both cash income and consumption.