Participatory Causal Loop Mapping of the Adoption of Organic Farming in Nigeria

Environ Manage. 2022 Feb;69(2):410-428. doi: 10.1007/s00267-021-01580-w. Epub 2022 Jan 14.


Contrary to the expectations of promoters of organic agriculture, the adoption of the technology by smallholder farmers in Africa has been low and slow, for reasons not well understood. Existing studies on the topic mostly estimated the effect of some variables on the adoption of the technology. But adoption is characterized by complex and dynamic interactions of many interconnected factors, which existing studies overlooked. The underlying causal structures and feedback mechanisms that dynamically interact to affect the adoption of organic farming in urban and rural Africa are also not well known. To bridge these gaps, we used a system dynamics tool called participatory causal loop diagraming to map the underlying causal factors and feedback mechanisms driving the adoption of organic farming in rural and urban Nigeria. We conducted loop and network analyses of the group causal loop diagrams, which were created during the participatory system dynamics modeling workshops with the organic farmers in our study areas. Our findings underscore the importance of the knowledge of organic farming, demand- and supply-side-oriented awareness creation, and the economic viability of organic farming for widespread adoption of the technology. We suggested the potential leverages around which interventions can be built to boost the adoption rates of the technology.

Keywords: Adoption; Africa; Leverage Points; Network Analysis; Nigeria; Organic Farming; System Dynamics.

MeSH terms

  • Agriculture*
  • Farmers
  • Humans
  • Nigeria
  • Organic Agriculture*
  • Technology