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Minimum tillage adoption among commercial smallholder cotton farmers in Zambia, 2002 to 2011

Philip P. Grabowski, Steven Haggblade (), Stephen Kabwe and Gelson Tembo

Agricultural Systems, 2014, vol. 131, issue C, 34-44

Abstract: Despite widespread enthusiasm about conservation agriculture (CA) in Africa, empirical evidence on adoption remains fragmentary. This study examines adoption rates of a critical component of CA, minimum tillage (MT), among 135,000 Zambian cotton farmers by comparing the results of two censuses of cotton lead farmers and buyers conducted in 2002 and again in 2011. The survey results indicate that 13% of cotton farmers used some form of MT in 2011. Among farmer groups interviewed in both years, MT adoption rates increased by about one-third compared to 2002. However, the preferred MT technology packages have changed dramatically. While use of hand-hoe basins has declined, use of ox and tractor-drawn rippers plus herbicides has increased. Tobit regression estimates suggest that four key factors – lead farmer use of MT, number of years of extension efforts, availability of herbicides on credit, and availability of tractor ripper services – all positively influence MT adoption. Zambia’s experience likewise underlines the long timeframe required for testing and refining location-specific technology packages that prove both agronomically suitable and commercially attractive for farmers of differing resource endowments.

Keywords: Conservation agriculture; Cotton; Herbicides; Adoption; Zambia; Technology development (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2014
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:agisys:v:131:y:2014:i:c:p:34-44

DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2014.08.001

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