Technology Adoption among Small Scale Farmers in keembe, Chibombo

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Mvula, Amos
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The University of Zambia
Weeds are an under estimated crop pest in Africa. Plant pathology and entomology take precedency over weed science. Because weeds do not strike as violently as insects, there is a tendency to underestimate their importance. Under unweeded conditions crop losses have been measured for the following; maize (55-90%), common bean (50%), sorghum (40-80%), groundnut (80%), cassava (90%), wheat (50-80%), cow pea (40-60%).Weed competition is most serious when the crop is young. Herbicides are chemicals that can be alternatively used to control weeds. They are most effective and time-efficient weed control method. The use of herbicides ensures a decrease in weed density over time. Most significantly, 90% of acres on large plantation farms in sub-Saharan Africa are treated with herbicides, the same percentage on all crop lands in developed countries while <Mily 5% of small holder acres receive herbicide applications. This study was centred on small scale farmers in central province of Zambia, specifically the rural farming areas of Keembe Chibombo. The main focus of the study will be centred on shedding light on the adoption of herbicides. A technology that has proven to reduce crop yield losses attributed to ineffective weed control methods. ITie specific things of the study included fu-stly to assess the ad<^ion rates of herbicides by small scale farmers in Ke«nbe, Chibombo. Secondly to determine the descriptive characteristics factors affecting adoption of herbicides among small scale farmers. The structured qtiestionnaire was the iMimary instrument used for data collection. Descriptive statistics were generated using Stata. Excel was used to organize outputs. Among the factors found to have had influence to herbicide adoption included: age, education, herbicide fraining, and sprayer ownership, access to credit and memb^ship to an agricultural organization positively affect adoption according to descriptive statistics. Distance where herbicides to negatively affect adoption of herbicides in the area. On the aspect of adoption, adoption stood at 66.7% while non-adopter at 33.3%. llie adoption rates where between 1995 and 1999 at 1.1%, 2000 to 2004 at 3.3%, 2005 to 2009 at 15.6% and finally 2010 and onwards at 46.7%. Thus there is need to open up more agro chemical outlets so as to shorten distance where chemicals can be sourced. Education should be continuously be encouraged by the government in the area by building more primary, secondary schools and making it affordable for all including the tertiary level. Research should be undertaken by other researchers to establish whether there has been significant increases in yields of various crops in the area owing to the high adoption levels of chemical weed control measures.
Farmers , Herbicides--Keembe , Weeds--Control--Keembe--Zambia