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Adoption of conservation agriculture (CA) is quite low in most parts of Africa. However, Zambia has been quite successful in increasing adoption of CA among smallholder farmers. Few studies using both quantitative and qualitative approaches have been conducted in Zambia to determine factors influencing adoption of CA. This study uses mixed methods approach to document factors influencing adoption of CA among smallholder farmers under the Conservation Agriculture Project (CAP) in Zambia. From a random sample of 415 smallholder farmers, results showed that 71% had adopted CA. Quantitative analysis indicated that CA trainings, previous experience in minimum tillage, membership in farmer organisations, and ownership of CA tillage equipment significantly increased the likelihood of CA adoption. Number of CA trainings attended, farm size, number of rippers owned and use of herbicide had a significant positive influence on area under CA. Qualitative approaches showed that good rapport with farmers, trust, reciprocity and altruism, monitoring and evaluations, extension strategy, quality and extent of technical knowledge in CA within CFU, and artificial incentives positively influenced adoption of CA. Traditional leadership was reported to enhance adoption of CA in most cases. Prestige was reported to withhold some men from adopting CA basins. Women were very involved in CA basins while men were mostly involved in ADP ripping. Some worldviews of farmers had negative influence on adoption of CA. Donor support and collaboration with the Zambia National Farmers Union and private sector were other contextual factors for the high adoption of CA among sampled smallholder farmers. In the promotion of CA it is important to pay attention to both quantitative and qualitative factors influencing adoption. A mixed methods approach thus can lead to a better understanding of the adoption of CA than a single research strategy approach.


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