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25 February 2013

SIANI Guest Blog: Adoption of multiple sustainable agricultural practices

Why Sustainable Agricultural Practices?

The past few decades have witnessed low and declining performance of the agricultural sector in Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) mainly due to continued land degradation, decline of soil fertility, and widespread failure to make sufficient soil fertility replenishment. The concern about poor performance of the agricultural sector and agriculture’s increasing reliance on non-renewable resources has promoted a number of sustainable agriculture initiatives to support the adoption and diffusion of sustainable agricultural practices (SAPs). Sustainable agriculture refers to the capacity of agriculture to contribute to the overall welfare by providing sufficient food and other goods and services in a way that are economically efficient and profitable, socially responsible and environmentally sound. Accordingly these practices may include conservation tillage, legume intercropping, legume crop rotations, improved crop varieties, use of animal manure, complementary use of inorganic fertilizers, and soil and stone bunds for soil and water conservation.

Why adoption of multiple SAPs?

Despite the considerable efforts of governmental and non-governmental bodies for promoting the adoption and diffusion of SAPs, the uptake of SAPs by farmers are still poor in developing countries. A better understanding of constraints that condition farmer’ adoption behaviors are therefore important for designing policies that could stimulate adoption of SAPs. In the past, many studies have been performed on the adoption of new technologies. However, relatively little work has been done to examine the socio-economic factors affecting multiple adoption of SAPs. Hence, studies on adoption of SAPs jointly could clarify the reality faced by farmers who are often faced with various technologies that may be adopted simultaneously as compliments, substitutes or supplements to deal with their overlapping constraints. Hence, in order to find empirical evidence on key factors affecting multiple adoptions of SAPS, household surveys were conducted recently in Ethiopia with the support by the Australian Center for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) under the CIMMYT-led project “Sustainable Intensification of Maize-Legume Systems for Food Security in Eastern and Southern Africa (SIMLESA).

Read the full blog by Hailemariam Teklewold here

Essays on the Economics of Sustainable Agricultural Technologies in Ethiopia

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