Adoption of improved fallow technology for soil fertility management in Zambia: Empirical studies and emerging issues
Purchase on Springer.com
$39.95 / €34.95 / £29.95*
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.
In the subsistence-agricultural region of eastern Zambia, less than 10% of the households have adequate supply of maize (Zea mays L.), the staple food, throughout the year. A major constraint to increasing crop production in the region is poor fertility status of the soil. In order to address this problem, improved fallow has been introduced as a technology for improving soil fertility within a short span of two to three years. Farmers have been testing the technology and a number of empirical studies have been undertaken over the years to identify the factors influencing farmers' decision to adopt the technology. This paper presents a synthesis of the results of adoption studies and highlights generic issues on the adoption of improved fallows in Zambia. The synthesis indicates that farmers' decision on technology adoption does not have a simple directed relationship of some technological characteristics only, but constitutes a matrix of factors including household characteristics, community level factors, socioeconomic constraints and incentives that farmers face, access to information, local institutional arrangements and macro policies on agriculture. The adoption of improved fallows is not strictly speaking a binary choice problem but a continuous process in which farmers occupy a position along a continuum in the adoption path. Further, adoption of improved fallows may not take place in a policy vacuum but needs to be facilitated by appropriate and conducive policy and institutional incentives. Several questions and issues that require further study emerge from the synthesis. These include determination of the relative importance of the factors in the adoption matrix, identification of the conditions under which farmers use a combination of inputs and their profitability under changing price scenarios, exact definition to delineate between `non-adopters', `testers' and `adopters' of agroforestry technologies, and understanding the impact of cash crop farming in farmers' adoption decisions of improved fallows (where off farm opportunities exist). Further, there is a need to determine the inter-relationship between household poverty, labor availability and the adoption of improved fallows and, to evaluate a combination of policy interventions at both national and local level to promote the adoption of agroforestry-based soil fertility management.
- Adesina A.A., Mbila D., Nkamleu G.B. and Endamana D. 2000. Econometric analysis of the determinants of adoption of alley farming by farmers in the forest zone of southwest Cameroon. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 80: 255–265. CrossRef
- Ajayi O.C, Katanga R., E. Kuntashula and Ayuk E.T. 2002. Effectiveness of local policies in enhancing adoption of agroforestry technologies: the case of bylaws on grazing and fire in eastern Zambia. In: Kwesiga F., Ayuk E.T. and Agumya A. (eds.) Proceedings of the 14th Southern African Regional Review and Planning Workshop, 3-7 September 2001, Harare, Zimbabwe, ICRAF Regional Office, Harare, Zimbabwe, pp. 23–27.
- Ajayi O.C., Ayuk, E.T, Massi C. Phiri D. and Kwesiga F. K. 2001. Typology and Characteristics of Farmers Planting Improved Fallows in Eastern Zambia, Working Paper No 2, ICRAF Agroforestry Project, Chipata, Zambia.
- Ayuk, E.T. and Agumya A. 2001. Combining surveys with spatial data: Assessment of soil fertility management practices in Zimbabwe. In: Proceedings of the International Workshop on Farm Household Information Systems for Improved Livelihoods and Reduced Hunger and Poverty, 4-7 December 2001, Rome, Italy, pp. 34–42.
- Ayuk E.T. and Mafongoya P.L. 2002. Risk and returns characteristics of improved fallows in eastern Zambia: an application of stochastic dominance methods In: Kwesiga F., Ayuk E. and Agumya A. (eds), Proceedings of the 14th Southern African Regional Review and Planning Workshop, 3-7 September 2001, Harare, Zimbabwe, ICRAF Regional Office, Harare, Zimbabwe, pp. 28–34.
- Bekunda M.A., Bationo A. and Ssali H 1997. Soil fertility management in Africa: A review of selected research trials. In: Buresh R.J., Sanchez P.A. and Calhoun F. (eds.), Replenishing Soil fertility in Africa SSSA. Special Publication Number 51, Soil Science Society of America, Madison, Wisconsin, USA, pp. 63–79.
- David S. 1995. What do farmers think? Farmer evaluation of hedgerow intercropping under semi-arid conditions. Agro-forestry Systems 32: 15–28.
- Filius A.M. 1982. Economic aspects of agroforestry. Agroforestry Systems 1: 29–39. CrossRef
- Franzel S. 1999. Socioeconomic factors affecting the adoption of improved tree fallows in Africa. Agroforestry Systems 47: 305–321. CrossRef
- Franzel S., Phiri D. and Kwesiga F. 2002. Assessing the adoption potential of improved fallows in eastern Zambia. In: Franzel S. and Scherr S.J. (eds), Trees on the Farm: Assessing the Adoption Potential of Agroforestry Practices in Africa. CAB International, Wallingford, UK, pp. 37–64.
- Izac A-M. N. 1997a. Ecological economics of investing in natural resource capital in Africa. In: Buresh R.J., Sanchez P.A. and Cal-houn F. (eds), Replenishing Soil Fertility in Africa. SSSA Special Publication No. 51, Soil Science Society of America, Madison, WI, pp. 237–251.
- Izac A-M. N. 1997b. Developing policies for soil carbon management in tropical regions. Geoderma 79: 261–276. CrossRef
- Keil A. 2001. Improved Fallows Using Leguminous Trees in Eastern Zambia: Do Initial Testers Adopt the Technology? MSc Thesis, University of Goettingen, Germany, 94 pp.
- Kuntashula E., Ajayi O.C, Phiri D., Mafongoya P. and Franzel S. 2002. Factors influencing farmers' decision to plant improved fallows: A study of four villages in Eastern Province of Zambia. In: Kwesiga F., Ayuk E. and Agumya A. (eds), Proceedings of the 14th Southern African Regional Review and Planning Workshop, 3-7 September 2001, Harare, Zimbabwe, ICRAF Regional Office, Harare, Zimbabwe, pp. 104–110.
- Kwesiga F. and Coe R. 1994. The effect of short rotation Sesbania sesban planted fallows on maize yield. Forest Ecology and Management 64: 199–208. CrossRef
- Kwesiga F.R., Franzel S., Place F. Phiri D. and Simwanza C.P. 1999. Sesbania sesban improved fallow in eastern Zambia: Their inception, development and farmer enthusiasm. Agroforestry Systems 47: 49–66. CrossRef
- McDonald D.G. and Glynn C.J. 1994. Difficulties in measuring adoption of apple IPM: A case study. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 48: 219–230. CrossRef
- Peterson J.S. 1999a. Zambia Integrated Agroforestry Project (ZIAP) Baseline Survey, World Vision/University of Florida, Gaines-ville, Florida
- Peterson J.S. 1999b. Kubweletza Nthaka: Ethnographic Decision Trees and Improved Fallows in the Eastern Province of Zambia, Gender and Soil Fertility in Africa. Collaborative Research Support Program (CRSP), University of Florida, USA and International Center for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF), Nairobi.
- Phiri D., Franzel S., Mafongoya P., Jere I., Katanga R. and Phiri S. 2003. Who is using the new technology? The association of wealth status and gender with the planting of improved tree fallows in Eastern Province, Zambia. Agroforestry Systems (in press).
- Pisanelli A., Franzel S., De Wolf J., Rommelse R. and Poole J. 2003. The adoption of improved tree fallows in western Kenya: farmer practices, knowledge and perception. Agroforestry Systems (Submitted).
- Place F. and Dewees P. 1999. Policies and incentives for the adoption of improved fallows. Agroforestry Systems 47: 323–343. CrossRef
- Place F., Franzel S., DeWolf J., Rommelse R., Kwesiga F., Niang A. and Jama B. 2002. Agroforestry for soil fertility replenishment: Evidence on adoption processes in Kenya and Zambia. In: Barrett C.B., Place F. and Aboud A.A. (eds), Natural Resources Management in African Agriculture: Understanding and Improving Current Practices. CAB International, Wallingford, UK, pp. 155–168.
- Sanchez P.A. 1999. Improved fallows come of age in the tropics. Agroforestry Systems 47: 3–12. CrossRef
- Scherr S.J. and Müller E.U. 1991. Technology impact evaluation in agroforestry projects Agroforestry Systems 13: 235–257. CrossRef
- Scoones I. and Toulmin C. 1999. Policies for Soil Fertility Management in Africa. A Report Prepared for the Department for International Development (DFID), International Institute of for Environment and Development (IIED), London, United Kingdom, 128 pp.
- Adoption of improved fallow technology for soil fertility management in Zambia: Empirical studies and emerging issues
Volume 59, Issue 3 , pp 317-326
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Kluwer Academic Publishers
- Additional Links
- Natural resource management
- Nutrient deficiency
- Planted fallows
- Southern Africa
- Sustainable agriculture
- Author Affiliations
- 1. International Centre for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF)–Government of Zambia Agroforestry Project, P.O. Box 510046, Chipata, Zambia
- 2. ICRAF, P.O. Box 30677, Nairobi, Kenya
- 3. ICRAF Southern Africa Regional Programme, P.O. Box MP 128, Mt. Pleasant, Harare, Zimbabwe