Determinants of adoption of sustainable production practices among smallholder coffee producers in Nicaragua
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Efforts to slow down and eventually reverse the trend of climate change will take time, and in some cases, the negative impacts of climate change will be felt long before long-term solutions to this problem can bear fruit. Adaptation and mitigation strategies constitute the front line of attack for rural households in developing countries that rely on agricultural production and natural resource use as their main source of income and growth, and whose livelihoods are threatened by climate change. This study models the determinants of adoption of sustainable production practices by coffee producers in the department of Matagalpa, in northern Nicaragua. Using primary survey data, we analyze the extent to which cooperative membership impacts adoption of ten different practices. We find that coffee farmers who belong to cooperatives have adopted sustainable practices at higher rates than non-members, and that the odds of adoption are higher for members than for non-members. A factor analysis was conducted to determine the underlying structural differences between the ten practices, and from this analysis three factors emerged and were modeled. We find that cooperative membership is a significant determinant of practices that promote water conservation, yet not significant for practices that promote soil and plant health, nor for practices related to field management. These findings are valuable for policy makers, donors, and development and extension practitioners in the coffee sector, as they can better inform and guide policies toward more efficient and effective paths of long-term climate change adaptation.
KeywordsTechnology adoption Climate change Coffee Cooperatives Sustainable development
The authors wish to acknowledge the financial support of the United States Agency for International Development and Purdue University through their Borlaug Fellowship in Global Food Security.
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