Understanding smallholder farmers’ intention to adopt agricultural apps: the role of mastery approach and innovation hubs in Mexico
While several studies have focused on the actual adoption of agricultural apps and the relevance of the apps’ content, very few studies have focused on drivers of the farmer’s intention and initial decision to adopt. Based on a survey of 394 smallholder farmers in 2019, this study investigated willingness to adopt an agricultural advice app in Guanajuato, Mexico. A structural equation modeling approach, based on the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology (UTAUT), was applied. To understand the farmers’ adoption decisions, extended constructs were studied (e.g., mastery-approach goals) along with the farmers’ age and participation in an innovation hub. Results showed that the intention to adopt the app is predicted by how farmers appraise the technical infrastructure and acquire new knowledge by using an app. The multi-group analysis revealed that performance expectancy is a relevant predictor of the intention to adopt, whereas the mastery-approach goal is relevant only for younger farmers and farmers not connected to the innovation hub. This study provides valuable insights about the innovation hubs’ role in the intention to adopt apps, offering precision agriculture advice in developing countries. The findings are useful for practitioners and app developers designing digital-decision support tools.