Hailemariam Teklewold, Menale Kassie and Bekele Shiferaw
The adoption and diffusion of sustainable agricultural practices (SAPs) has become an important issue in the development-policy agenda for sub-Saharan Africa, especially as a way to tackle land degradation, low agricultural productivity and poverty. However, the adoption rates of SAPs remain below expected levels. This study analyses the factors that facilitate or impede the probability and level of adoption of interrelated SAPs, using recent data from multiple plot-level observations in rural Ethiopia. Multivariate and ordered probit models are applied to the modelling of adoption decisions by farm households facing multiple SAPs, which can be adopted in various combinations. The results show that there is a significant correlation between SAPs, suggesting that adoptions of SAPs are interrelated. The analysis further shows that both the probability and the extent of adoption of SAPs are influenced by many factors: a household’s trust in government support, credit constraints, spouse education, rainfall and plot-level disturbances, household wealth, social capital and networks, labour availability, plot and market access. These results imply that policy-makers and development practitioners should seek to strengthen local institutions and service providers, maintain or increase household asset bases and establish and strengthen social protection schemes in order to improve the adoption of SAPs.
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