This paper examines the major factors constraining the adoption of a newly introduced paddy improvement technology programme by farmers in the Hambantota district, as seen from the perspective of Agricultural extension officers. Further, the adoption pattern of those technological programmes by farmers was analyzed. A structured interview schedule was used to collect data from a purposively selected sample of 30 AI officers. Data was analyzed using the principal factor model with iteration and Varimax rotation. Later, the simple linear regression analysis was done to explain any relationship between the adoption levels of farmers in each of the adoption stages. The results showed that a majority of AI officers perceived that only 40-60 per cent of farmers actually adopted the new technology programme. As for the percentage of farmers who proceeded to adopt each stage of the multi-stage process, the majority of the farmers in the community progressed to the awareness stage but only about 50 per cent of farmers continued until the final adoption stage was reached. Among the factors constraining the adoption could be cited a lack of resources, incompatibility and complexity of new technology, socio-economic and cultural constraints. Inadequacies in extension intervention, technical training and information were the main constraints that compromised the information and knowledge network. Moreover, the Yaya 2 programme was hindered by environmental and economic barriers, poor educational competencies of farmers and weak information links with the other actors of the network. Further, the study was unable to predict any significanct relationship between the adoption levels of farmers in each of the adoption stages. These findings suggest that there is an urgent need for researchers, policy makers and administrators of the extension service to consider these constraints seriously so as to overcome them to increase the adoption rate by farmers of the new paddy technology programme in Hambantota.
Keywords: Agricultural Technology, Farmers, Adoption Stages, Adoption, Constraints