PR - UPTAKE OF AGRICULTURAL INNOVATIONS IN SCOTTISH BEEF FARMS: A REVIEW OF CONCEPTS, CHALLENGES AND SCIENTIFIC APPROACHES
This paper reviews the literature on the uptake of agricultural innovations in general, and more specifically in beef cattle farms, with a specific focus on how these innovations may be relevant in Scottish beef farms. The paper is intended as a literature review, representing a forerunner to a more comprehensive study of the national level uptake of innovative technologies in Scottish specialist beef farms.
There are several definitions of innovation available in the literature, with many of them stemming from the ideas of Schumpeter, according to whom economic development is driven by innovation. From a farm-level perspective, innovation is seen as the main driver of agricultural productivity growth. The decision of whether an individual will adopt a specific innovation, and the time frame associated with that decision, has been the main subject of research across several disciplines (e.g. economics, sociology). Since Griliches (1957) pioneering study on farmers’ decisions to adopt an innovation, the subject has been extensively studied. Agricultural economists have been focussed on understanding and modelling farmers’ adoption decision-making, with several theories and models being developed over time. These are particularly valuable for informing policies and programs designed to encourage innovation uptake.
Keywords: agricultural innovations, innovation uptake, beef cattle, Scottish beef farms