OLADIMEJI IDOWU OLADELE1, JUN-ICHI SAKAGAMI2
1University of Ibadan, Department of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development, Nigeria
2Japan International Reserach Center for Agricultural Sciences, Development Reserach Division, Japan
This paper examines the impact of technology innovation on rice yield gap in Asia and West Africa countries. This is based on the premise that rice now accounts for the 22percent of world's caloric intake and the significant role played in Asia Green revolution as well as the potential role in the expected Africa Green revolution. International, regional and national research organisations have collaborated research efforts in the last decade for increasing rice production, productivity and adaptation to marginal areas. Despite the volume of research and collaboration, the problem of wide gap between potential and actual yield persists. Yield gap has been attributed to biophysical, socioeconomic, institutional, policy and technology transfer and linkage factors. Reducing yield gap will increase rice productivity, improves land and labour use, reduces production costs and increases sustainability. Data collected on the technology transfer and linkage factors operationalised as the extension activities of Japan, Thailand, Nigeria and Ghana were regressed on rice yield gap from 1980-2002. The yield gap was determined as the difference between the potential yields and the actual yield. In some cases the gap was taken to be the difference between maximum attainable and the farm level yields. Important predictors of rice yield gap for each country were identified. These include extension agent, farmer ratio, extension funding, extension intensity, ratio of demonstration centre to farmers and the ratio of subject matter specialists to extension agents. These factors have implications for the appropriateness of technology to the farmers' environment and the effective transfer of technology and knowledge to the farmers. The paper concludes with pragmatic steps of how the identified factors can be incorporated into the sustainable increase of rice productivity.
Keywords: Asia, extension activities, farm-level yield., potential yield, rice, technology innovation, technology transfer, West Africa, yield gap