The objective of this study was to investigate the current situation, problems, perception, and the adoption of rice technology of farmers in Khon Kaen province of Thailand. Forty six rice farmers were selected from two villages: one representing the community in an irrigated area (Ban Dondu) while the other represented the community in a rainfed area (Ban Nong-gloy). Other than this difference in water resource input, the two villages are basically the same in socio-economic aspect, cultural and traditional background, and agroclimatic condition.
The results were divided into two parts : (1) the farmers situation, farm practices, and problems encountered, (2) adoption and related factors.
Most rice growers were between 41-60 years old, with a compulsory elementary education from primary school. All of then1 had over 10 years experience in rice farming. The average family size was six persons per household providing an average farm labour of 4 persons. Almost all of them had their own land for cultivation, averaging 2.4 hectares per household. The land was planted with two crops; rice-rice or rice-rice/other crops. Thus the other source of farm incon1e was mostly from cassava for farmers in rainfed village and from vegetable crops for farmers in irrigated village. The average farmers' income was 16,614 Baht per year. Irrigation Farmers mostly had more income than rainfed farmers.
Most farmers knew about credit agencies, credit procedure, and extension service (KT). They received credit mostly from cooperatives and used it to purchase inputs and hired labour. When they had problems in rice farming, farmers in irrigated village had gained recognition to KT while farmers in the rainfed village still believed the role and status of village leadership as their consultant in the first priority.
The farmers considered that TV was the most important source of rice farming information followed by radio, farm demonstration, and poster/leaflet.
In farming practice, farmers mostly adopted the recommended seed and fertiliser. However, the farmers need to improve their knowledge of how to apply fertiliser properly. Row planting was not adopted by farmers because it was difficult, time consuming, and had a high labour cost. Although farmers accepted pest/disease and weeds as their problems, some did not control them because they lacked knowledge. However, most controlled pest/disease and weeds with pesticide/herbicide or mechanical methods.
Several factors did not have a statistically significant influence on farmers' adoption of rice technology. They were age, family size, education, rice yield, income, credit, frequency of extension visit, farm demonstration, TV program and printed material.
Factors that were statistically significant in relation to farmers adoption of rice technology were farm size and radio program. Farmers with larger farm size were more likely to be high adopters. The farmers who listened to the agricultural radio program were high adopters than the farmers who listened to other programs.
Between, the two villages, yield, income, and the adoption level of farmers in rice technology were higher in the irrigated area than in the rainfed area. The farmers generally considered that irrigation was a necessary condition for the adoption of other related technologies.