Charles Sturt University
Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation

Acknowledging the importance of farmers’ perspectives

Dr William Kerua travelled from Papua New Guinea (PNG) to attend his graduation ceremony at Charles Sturt University (CSU) in Wagga Wagga.

Dr William Kerua and Dr Albert Schram Vice Chancellor PNG University of TechnologyDr Kerua was awarded his PhD for his research identifying the importance of recognising farmer perspectives in research development and extension.

Cocoa is an important cash crop of PNG but despite considerable Government investment in research, development and extension productivity hasn’t reached its potential,” Dr Kerua said.

“The ultimate decision to adopt a particular technology depends to a great extent on the farmers perceptions about the technology, livelihood, their socio-cultural and economic situation and their need for the technology.

“There was limited information about the pattern of farmers’ decision-making in adopting and applying of cocoa technology.

“My research focused on recognising farmer perspectives of livelihood. This included socio-cultural variables such as land tenure and shortage, traditions, farming culture and enterprise diversification.

“The research proposes a framework to give people working in research development and extension a better understanding of the complexity of farmer decision making.

“It’s hoped this Agricultural based Sustainable Livelihood Framework (ASLF) will improve innovation adoption and cocoa production.”

Dr Kerua’s research was supported by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) John Alwright Fellowship.

This Fellowships Scheme was introduced in 1986 to provide the opportunity for developing country scientists involved in ACIAR-supported collaborative research projects to obtain postgraduate qualifications at Australian tertiary institutions.

He is one of 11 Graham Centre PhD students who graduated in 2017.