Understanding Compliance in Programs Promoting Conservation Agriculture: Modeling a Case Study in Malawi

28 Pages Posted: 28 Jun 2016

See all articles by Patrick Ward

Patrick Ward

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Andrew R. Bell

New York University

Klaus Droppelmann

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Tim Benton

University of Leeds

Date Written: May 13, 2016

Abstract

Land degradation and soil erosion have emerged as serious challenges to smallholder farmers throughout southern Africa. To combat these challenges, conservation agriculture (CA) is widely promoted as a sustainable package of agricultural practices. Despite the many potential benefits of CA, however, adoption remains low. Yet relatively little is known about the decision-making process in choosing to adopt CA. This article attempts to fill this important knowledge gap by studying CA adoption in southern Malawi. Unlike what is implicitly assumed when these packages of practices are introduced, farmers view adoption as a series of independent decisions rather than a single decision. Yet the adoption decisions are not wholly independent. We find strong evidence of interrelated decisions, particularly among mulching crop residues and practicing zero tillage, suggesting that mulching residues and intercropping or rotating with legumes introduces a multiplier effect on the adoption of zero tillage.

Keywords: MALAWI; SOUTHERN AFRICA; AFRICA SOUTH OF SAHARA; AFRICA; conservation agriculture; technology adoption; land degradation; soil erosion; smallholders; sustainability; zero tillage; land use; land management; multivariate probit

JEL Classification: O13, Q01, Q15

Suggested Citation

Ward, Patrick and Bell, Andrew R. and Droppelmann, Klaus and Benton, Tim, Understanding Compliance in Programs Promoting Conservation Agriculture: Modeling a Case Study in Malawi (May 13, 2016). IFPRI Discussion Paper 1530, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2801284

Patrick Ward (Contact Author)

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

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Andrew R. Bell

New York University ( email )

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Klaus Droppelmann

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

1201 Eye St, NW,
Washington, DC 20005
United States

Tim Benton

University of Leeds ( email )

United Kingdom

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