Factors affecting the adoption of agroforestry in Zambia's Mumbwa district

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Mwakilima, Nkandu
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The University of Zambia
The background to the agro-forestry and sustainable agriculture in Zambia dates back beyond the 1950s. However, in the 1960s and early 1970s, the Government then deliberately encouraged the farmers, especially small-scale farmers to practice sustainable agriculture in general and Agroforestry in particular. This was a move to assist the small scale farmers replenish their soils without much dependence on inorganic fertilizers whose price had escalated then. In year 2004, MACO and FD projected a 90% adoption rate by the year 2009. This prediction was made with reference to the overwhelming portrayed farmers' interest in agro forestry at that time. However, the district registered an adoption rate of only about 15% in the year 2009 and only 20% was predicted for the year 2010. The factors that affected the adoption of Agroforestry were unknown. This study was carried out generally to determine the factors affecting the adoption of Agroforestry (Agrosylviculture in particular) in Mumbwa district. The specifics of the study were to determine the technological, social-economical and institutional factors affecting the adoption of Agroforestry in Mumbwa district and also to measure the extent to which each of the factors identified influenced adoption of Agroforestry in the district. A sample of 150 households was randomly selected from four camps. Both primary and secondary data was collected in this study. The field data was analyzed in SPSS to produce descriptive statistics and a Tobit model, corrected for Heteroskedasticity was run in STATA. After the running of a Tobit model, three factors were of significance at 95% confidence level. These were contact with extension agents, experience of a farmer and the number of hectares owned by a farmer. Contact with extension workers had the highest magnitude in affecting adoption of Agroforestry. The second most effective was the experience of a farmer and lastly, the hectares owned by a farmer. From the study findings, it was recommended that the Government and NGOs such as CFU employ more extension workers so as to increase farmers contact with extension agents. It was also recommended that there be more programs that would advocate for Agroforestry practices as the farmers would easily capture this information and relate it to their farming experiences.
Agroforestry-Zambia , Agroforestry Systems-Zambia