Determinants and Extent of Use of Minimum Tillage Practices among Zambian Smallholder Crop Farmers from 2008 to 2012

This study used nationally representative pooled cross-sectional household data to assess determinants of farmers’ decisions to use minimum tillage and how much land is cultivated using minimum tillage between 2008 and 2012 in Zambia. Empirical results from the Double Hurdle model show that age of the household head, landholding size, incidences of flood and droughts in the previous season significantly influence the probability of farmers using minimum tillage and the amount of land they cultivate under minimum tillage. For example, results show that increasing landholding size owned by households by 1 hectare would on average increase land cultivated under minimum tillage by 0.03 hectares. This result suggests that increasing landholding sizes among farmers provides them with more flexibility in making conservation farming decisions. We also found robust evidence suggesting that farmers in the current season would reduce the amount of land put under minimum tillage following a season with floods. We also found that farmers are more likely to use minimum tillage in the current season following a season with droughts. These results seem to suggest that farmers are using conservation farming practices in response to rainfall variability. Findings of this study underscore the importance of improving land access for smallholder farmers and timely gathering and disseminating of weather information in order to facilitate farmer’s decision to adopt conservation farming practices.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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