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Factors Affecting Adoption of Conservation Agriculture Practices in Mpatsa Extension Planning Area, Nsanje, Southern Malawi

Dan Vuntade, Maureen Kapute Mzuza

Abstract: Conservation agriculture (CA) emerged as an alternative innovation to conventional agriculture due to losses in soil productivity as a result of soil degradation. This study investigated factors affecting the adoption of Conservation Agriculture in the Mpatsa Extension Planning Area in a southern district of Malawi, Nsanje. A quantitative method approach was followed where were collected from a sample of 110 targeted smallholder farmers in the study area using a semi-structured questionnaire where the majority (63.6%) were women. Focused Group Discussions (FGDs) were also done to triangulate data on questionnaires. Data were entered into a Microsoft Excel database and analyzed in SPSS version 20. Socio-economic, environmental factors and household income have a greater impact on the adoption of conservation agricultural innovations. Animals were found to cause permanent soil cover disturbance while feeding on crop residues leaving the soil bare. The study concluded that climatic factors and CA training have negatively affected the adoption of new agricultural innovations, therefore, recommending further training and extension support for CA adoption as well as more access to credit opportunities for increased households’ adoption of CA.
Keywords: Conservation Agriculture / Social-Economic Factors / Environmental Factors

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