Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Adoption of conservation agriculture in Malawi (#journal)

Adoption and extent of conservation agriculture practices among smallholder farmers in Malawi

Understanding factors affecting farmers' adoption of improved technologies is critical to success of conservation agriculture (CA). This study explored why  farmers adopted the three principles of CA (minimum soil disturbance, permanent soil cover, and crop rotations), in 10 communities in Malawi. From a total of 15,854 households in the study areas, 18% of smallholders had adopted CA, on 2.1% of all cultivated land. The first stage of the research showed that hired labor, area of land cultivated, membership to farmer group, and district influenced farmers' decisions to adopt CA. The second stage suggested that total cultivated land, duration of practicing CA, and district influenced farmers' decisions. Agency and social structures influenced adoption and extent of CA. Future policy should address ways to provide access to information and long-term support to farmers to enable them to embrace the technology fully.

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