Toward practical implementation of Conservation Agriculture: A case study in the May Zeg-Zeg Catchment (Ethiopia)

Posted by Carelia Juarez on , in Journal Articles

Published in Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems 38 (8) : 913-935, 2014

Lanckriet, S.; Araya, T.; Derudder, B.; Cornelis, W.; Bauer, H.; Govaerts, B.; Deckers, J.; Haile, M.; Naudts, J.; Nyssen, J.

Conservation agriculture (CA) is often quoted as a beneficial resource-saving technique for dryland agriculture, but its large-scale implementation is frequently hindered by the lack of farmers’ acceptance. To date, few studies have investigated the impact of spatial factors, costs and benefits and regional agroecosystem differentiation on adoption of CA. This study, therefore, aims to assess the impact of these factors through a case study in the North Ethiopian Highlands. One hundred eight farmers of 11 villages surrounding an experimental plot were interviewed in order to identify their knowledge and acceptance of the technique. The results show that several spatial factors play a role in CA acceptance. The lack of knowledge on the resource-saving technique proved primarily dependent (R = –0.73) on spatial impedance with the innovation source and on the strength of sociospatial networks. Next, a consumer model showed that perceived costs and benefits seem to balance each other. Finally, some agronomic traditions were identified that are related to the regional agroecosystem, which are not favoring the implementation of zero-tillage practices. Since this study identified acceptance problems related to several spatial and regional factors, future CA adoption schemes must allow better regional differentiation optimized to local contexts and conditions.

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