Rural innovation adoption pitfalls: the case of interrupted diffusion of sericulture among Rwandan farmers
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In densely populated Rwanda, agricultural expansion in traditional farming activities is constrained by an unfavourable topological configuration and dispersed human settlement patterns which impede mechanisation and prevent the sector from reaping the benefits of economies of scale. An economic development and poverty reduction strategy without a substantial increase in agricultural production - or any other technological change that empowers farmers to generate more income - is unlikely to succeed in the long term, as pointed out by Datt and Ravallion (1997). That is why the government of Rwanda has sought to harness sericulture (production of silk and rearing of silkworms for this purpose) as a potential rural innovation that can create new employment opportunities and help poor farmers generate higher incomes.