Evaluating the Potential for Improved and Sustainable Adoption of Conservation Agriculture in Northern Namibia

Evaluating the Potential for Improved and Sustainable Adoption of Conservation Agriculture in Northern Namibia

David Ifeanyi Uchezuba1* & Salom Mbai2

1Senior Lecturer Namibian University of Science and Technology, Department of Agriculture and Natural Resource Sciences, Tel. +264810425716
2Lecturer Namibia University of Science and Technology, Department of Agriculture and Natural Resource Sciences, Tel. +264813902376

The study evaluated the potential for improved and sustainable adoption of conservation agriculture in five regions in Namibia namely, Omusati, Kunene, Oshikoto, Ohangwena, and Oshana. Conventional system of farming involves, monoculture and deep soil tillage with ox-drawn ploughs with limited mechanisation. These practices are unproductive and unsustainable given increased uncertainty due to climate change.Therefore, conservation agriculture was introduced in the regions through the Food and Agricultural Organisation’s (FAO) assisted programme. The aim of the programme was to lower vulnerability by increasing the resilience of the smallholder farmers in the selected regions to adapt to climate change risks through the implementation of Conservation Agriculture (CA) and other complementary Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs).

The hypothesis is that increased CA knowledge would enhance improved outcomes. An empirical estimation of the relationship between the farmers learned CA skills, and the level of CA outcome was carried out using econometrics method. One hundred and forty-four farmers were sampled from the selected regions. The result indicates that additional CA knowledge may result in farmers’ improving their General Agricultural Practices. In order words, farmers are more likely to improve weeding than not, the area planted is more likely to increase than decrease and fertilizer application is more likely to increase significantly than not. There is an increase in the ordered log-odds of moving from a lower to a higher outcome level. For instance, a one-unit increase in the farmers’ CA knowledge will result in 0.05 unit increase in ordered log-odds of being in the higher category for the ‘area planted’ outcome variable while the other variables in the model are held constant. The same relationship applies to other outcome variables for farmers’ improved knowledge. In addition, the sustainability of the CA project was investigated. Using a probit probability choice model, it was found that CA adoption will increase in the future in these regions. The result shows that farmers are willing to adopt CA and continue practising it on the condition that benefits such as increased yield, training and household consumption are guaranteed. This is because, increased yield, training and household consumption increased the probability that farmers will continue CA adoption.

Keywords: Conservation agriculture; Good agricultural practice; Adoption; Drought; Willingness; Minimal tillage; Soil fertility

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David Ifeanyi Uchezuba, Salom Mbai. Evaluating the Potential for Improved and Sustainable Adoption of Conservation Agriculture in Northern Namibia. American Journal of Agricultural Research, 2020; 5:106. DOI: 10.28933/ajar-2020-07-2905


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