Increasing the pace of change: Barriers and motivations for adoption in the New Zealand kiwifruit industry.
With export sales in 2014 of over $1.6 billion, the New Zealand kiwifruit industry is one of the great horticultural success stories. However, with a target of $3 billion in export sales by 2025, the industry can’t afford to rest on its laurels. Much of the increase in revenue will be due to increased productivity and fruit quality on-orchard, and that does not happen by default. The aim of this study is to understand how we can increase the pace of change within the industry with respect to on-orchard adoption of innovations. Eight Bay of Plenty kiwifruit growers were interviewed about their perceived motivations for and barriers to adoption of innovations. They identified cost, a lack of evidence, conservatism, and underlying beliefs as key barriers to adoption. The need for operational efficiencies, financial benefits, and needing a solution to a specific significant issue were key motivations to adopt. Two innovations in the kiwifruit industry were studied: the pre-flowering trunk girdle, and root pruning. The attributes of these innovations have significantly impacted their rate of adoption within the industry, and serve to highlight gaps in the current research and extension programmes with respect to how innovations are “sold” to industry.... [Show full abstract]