Factors influencing adoption of minimum tillage ripping and animal draught power among smallholder farmers in Zambia

Thumbnail Image
Sakala, Isabel Chalendo
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
The University of Zambia
Conservation Farming (CF) practices and Animal draught power (ADP) have been promoted for years in Zambia and the rest of sub-Sahara Africa. CF has the potential to improve soil quality and raise farm incomes despite the variable climatic conditions. ADP is considered the least expensive form of mechanisation among smallholder farmers who cannot afford tractors. This study focused on the determination of the factors affecting the adoption of minimum tillage technology of ripping (MTR) and ADP among smallholder farmers in Zambia. It uses panel data from the Rural Agricultural Livelihoods Survey (RALS) conducted by the Indaba Agricultural Policy Research Institute (IAPRI) in 2012 and 2015 in Zambia. The pooled sample used in the current study consists of 14,213 households broken down as 7,130 and 7,083 for the RALS of 2012 and 2015 respectively. The study also examined the extent to which adopters of MTR use ripping with ADP. Moreover, the Correlated Random Effects (CRE) estimator was used to estimate the unconditional average partial effects (APEs) in order to explore the within and between household effects on the hectares ripped. This analysis paved way for more robust results and determined the changes in the hectares ripped within a given household overtime and between households in a given period. These unconditional APEs were then compared with the unconditional APEs from the pooled estimator, that is, without the CRE estimator. Descriptive statistics indicated that use of ADP, ADP hire, partial CF adoption and non-adoption of CF changed between 2012 and 2015 by 40.3 to 43.8%, 16.8 to 19.8%, 6.2 to 5.8% and 89.8 to 89.2% respectively. This showed an increase in ADP use and ADP hire but reduction in partial CF. Gender aspects indicated that females hired ADP more than men while more men used ADP than women. Factors found to positively influence the adoption of ADP include male headed households, labour availability, ownership of a ripper and access to loans. Compared to those with no education, Primary, secondary and tertiary education of the household head had negative effects on the adoption of ADP. The distance to nearest seller of veterinary products also had a negative effect on the adoption of ADP. For farmers that adopt MTR and use ADP, ownership of a ripper, distance to the nearest seller of veterinary products, CF advice, price of fertilizer per kg and loan access were positive. Moreover, the age, labour availability, hectares cultivated, Tropical livestock units and distance to the nearest agro dealer had negative effects on the adoption of MTR for farmers with ADP. For the extent of adoption of ripping for farmers with ADP, the CF advice, hectares cultivated and the gender of the household head had positive effects while the distance to the nearest agriculture camp office, and primary education had negative effects. The pooled triple hurdle model was less robust compared to the CRE triple hurdle model. All variables used in this analysis were found significant in determining the mean level of adoption on the hectares ripped. However, variables that were important for policy formulation included the hectares cultivated, loan access and ownership of a ripper, which positively affected the mean level of adoption on the hectares ripped. Moreover, recommendations are that promotions of ADP and MTR should be intensified and incentives to be introduced, especially for female farmers, to have access to loans from stakeholders and lending agencies in the agriculture sector, hire or own rippers, hire ADP, and increase the hectares cultivated.
Conservation farming