Nkumbu Nalwimba, Gubo Qi, George T. Mudimu


This review article focuses on the Chinese built Agriculture Technology Demonstration Centers (ATDCs) in Africa as a model for delivering agriculture aid. The article attempts to answer several questions key among them are; How has the model fared in different contexts? What questions or themes did existing studies miss or partially cover and how can such questions be framed for us to; have a better understanding of the ATDC; or instead develop a framework for studying the ATDC model. The study makes use of a systematic scoping review as the guiding research methodology. The ATDC managed to diffuse agriculture technology to farmers in Africa, increased their incomes, diversified their livelihoods and more importantly provided an alternative model for the delivery of agriculture aid in a context where traditional aid delivery faces sustainability challenges. Conversely, the model faced hurdles such as ensuring the balancing act between aid and commerce which are in essence two polemical activities, limited cooperation from some related bodies in host countries and lack of exposure to the African terrain also resulted in the implementation of inappropriate technologies. In terms of existing studies, the gender question is rarely addressed; similarly, in terms of technology adoption, there has been a binary description of adoption-non-adoption, this bifurcation does not correctly capture ground level realities. Furthermore, existing studies are institutionalistic mainly in nature with much emphasis on how the ATDC is run and not how it impacts on communities that are the supposed beneficiaries. Overall, there is an urgent call to work towards a framework for understanding ATDCs.


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agricultural technology demonstration center; smallholder farmers; Africa; China; agriculture aid

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