Factors contributing to disadoption of conservation agriculture among smallholder farmers in Petauke,Zambia

Thumbnail Image
Habanyat, Jiji Estone
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
The University of Zambia
Conservation Agriculture (CA) has widely been promoted by government through the Conservation Farming Unit of the Zambia National Farmers Union and non-governmental organizations such as Land Management and Conservation Farming Project, the Golden Valley Agricultural Research Trust, the Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Engineering Project, the Cooperative League of the USA, World Vision and various donors to address problems of low crop yields and food insecurity among smallholder farmers in Zambia. Despite the increasing interest and funding in CA, its disadoption among smallholder farmers is common especially after the end of CA projects. Several studies have been undertaken on the adoption of CA but few studies have been conducted on the factors that lead to disadoption of CA. Thus, this study identifies factors that contribute to disadoption of CA and opportunities for reducing disadoption among smallholder farmers in Petauke District of Zambia. The data was collected from 92 randomly selected smallholder farming households using questionnaires; in-depth interviews with seven purposively selected key informants and four focus group discussions. Qualitative data was analyzed by thematic and content analysis and quantitative data was analyzed by chi-square and a binary regression. Results show that 29 percent of smallholder farmers disadopted CA. CA basins were the most disadopted due to their labour intensiveness. The four most commonly cited factors leading to disadoption of CA as reported by smallholder farmers are lack of farm transport for manure (31 percent), high labour demand (25 percent), lack of adequate knowledge in CA (16 percent), and lack of free incentives (16 percent). Chi-square analysis showed significant association between each of the following factors with disadoption of CA: labour intensity; lack of access to free incentives; lack of farm transport for manure and poor local CA leadership. Regression results showed that lack of transport for manure; lack of adequate knowledge in CA; location and lack of free incentives (material items given) contributed significantly towards increased likelihood of CA disadoption at 0.05 level of significance. From the smallholder farmers‟ perceptions, options for reducing the disadoption of CA were increased access to free incentives including herbicides; enhance CA training; increase access to transportation of manure; provision of CA equipment and good local CA leadership. Thus this study concludes that most of the factors that influence disadoption involve the attitude of the farmers, dependency on incentives, labour constraints, poor rapport between the local CA leadership and smallholder farmers, and lack of essential CA assets. This study recommends that CA promoters, donors and government should help smallholder farmers to become self-reliant, reduce their provision of free agricultural inputs and enhance CA trainings to smallholder farmers so as to minimize disadoption of the technology. Introduction of CA in communities should be based on scientific evidence rather than material incentives.
Conservation agriculture--Smallholder farmers--Zambia , conservation agriculture--Technology diffusion--Zambia