Understanding Compliance in Programs Promoting Conservation Agriculture: Modeling a Case Study in Malawi
28 Pages Posted: 28 Jun 2016
Date Written: May 13, 2016
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: Suggested Citation