Darío Menanteau H.1
Results obtained from a sociological research on difussion and adoption of technical innovations conducted among a sample of 244 farmers from three "comunas", San Fernando, Placilla and Chimbarongo, of the Chilean province of Colchagua, show the exis. tence of the adoption process which develops in five stages: 1) Awareness; 2) Interest; 3) Evaluation; 4) Trial, and 5) adoption.
The processes of difussion and adoption were studied in connection with four recommended agricultural practices: nitrate, phosphate, certified seed, and herbicide. In determining sources of information recognized by farmers throughout the adoption process, it was possible to make the following functional classification of communication channels; 1) Primary sources (informal associates); 2) Mass media; 3) Agricultural extension; 4) Commercial sources; 5) Institutional sources, and 6) the category of "Self".
Results indicate the important role played by informal associates (family members, friends and neighbors) at each stage of the adoption process. Agricultural extension, however, combined with commercial and institutional sources are recognized by the farmers as important channels of communication at the stage of interest as well as very influential in their final decision of using and adopting new techniques.
1Profesor de Sociología de la Universidad de Minnesota, EE. UU.