Factors affecting the adoption of conservation agriculture among small scale farmers in Zambia's Mumbwa district

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Phiri, Christopher B.
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The University of Zambia
Adoption of Conservation Agriculture (CA) is quite low in most parts of Zambia as compared to Conservation Farming (CF). However, there has been more research on the factors affecting the adoption of CF and less on factors affecting the adoption of CA. This study was conducted to indentify the factors affecting the adoption of CA as well as determining the extent of CA adoption among small scale farmers in Mumbwa. Primary data was collected using structured questionnaires from a stratified random sample of 98 small scale farmers in Mumbwa main area, one of Conservation Farming Unit (CFU) coverage area. In order to determine the factors that affect the adoption of conservation agriculture, the Probit model was used to determine what effect sex, marital status, level of education and age of household head, cattle ownership, number of CA trainings, availability of Musangu tree seedlings, size of household, farm size and household income has on the adoption of CA from the 98 sampled farmers. Results show that there is a statistically significant relationship between sex and marital status of the household head and the adoption of CA at 95% confidence interval. This is because the p-values for both marital status (0.013) and sex (0.002) were below 0.05. Both females and being married increases the probability of conservation agriculture adoption. Because the Probit model does not determine the extent of CA adoption, the Tobit model was used to determine the extent of CA adoption among the 49 conservation agricuhure adaptors of the sample size. The regression results of the Tobit model show that in addition to marital status and sex of the household head, farm size and number of CA trainings a farmer attends are important determinants of the extent of adoption of CA. On the one hand, sex and marital status of household head and number of CA trainings were significant at 95% .confidence interval with p-values of 0.021, 0.042 and 0.01 respectively. On the other hand, farm size had a p-value of 0.064 which was less than 0.1 and was therefore statistically significant at 90% confidence interval. While there is a positive relationship between females and CA adoption, between being married and CA adoption and between the number of CA trainings and CA adoption, there is an inverse relationship between farm size and the extent of CA adoption. The higher the farm size the less likely that a farmer will engage in CA technology practices. There is therefore need to intensify CA trainings among small scale farmers by the conservation farming unit (CFU) field officers.
Agircultural conservation--Zambia , Conservation tillage
The University of Zambia