Determinants of smallholder farmers' adoption of improved fallows in Zambia's Chongwe District
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Adoption of Improved Fallows still remains poor among small holder farmers. Understanding the factors affecting smallholder farmers' adoption of Improved Fallows would provide a basis for an effective adoption program by providing important information for policy formulation and alterations for increased uptake in Zambia. The main objective of this study was to assess the factors that affect the adoption of improved fallows in Chongwe district in Lusaka province of Zambia. To achieve this, a study on the factors affecting its adoption was conducted. A sample size of two hundred and twenty (220) smallholder farmers from Chongwe district were both randomly and purposively interviewed. Probit analysis was used to identify factors that significantly affect the adoption decision. The dependent variable was "whether the farmer is using improved fallows or not". The study considers explanatory variables such as sex of the household head, age of the household head, age of the household members, level of education, marital status, household size, farm size, size of off-farm income, yield of subsequent crop after improved fallows, improved fallow trees used, access to information, and livestock ownership. The results indicated that a lot is still unknown about what really influences the smallholder farmers' adoption of improved fallows in Chongwe district. The econometric results revealed that household head belonging to an agricultural group (p=0.003), livestock ownership in terms of number of cattle (p=0.004), improved fallow tree used (p=0.055) are important determinants of improved fallows in Chongwe district. Based on the findings, if adoption is to be enhanced, it is important that more effort in information provision through extension services in facilitating and educating the illiterate farmers on the benefits of such practices is focused upon. The Government should also introduce cattle re-stocking in the district to reduce on use of family labor in carrying out farm operations. It is also important that future studies on the same issue to consider other variables of theoretical importance not considered in this study as observed that there is still a lot which is unknown about the what influences small scale farmers' decision to adopt a farming practice .
University of Zambia
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