CLTS Working Papers, Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences
The adoption potential of Conservation Agriculture technologies in Malawi: A lead farmer promoter-adopter approach and assessment
(), Stein T. Holden
() and Samson P. Katengeza
Abstract: This paper assesses the adoption potential of conservation
agriculture (CA) technologies in Malawi, where CA appears highly
Estimation of CA adoption rates and their determinants is
complicated by the relatively recent introduction of these technologies and
limited awareness of CA among the general population of smallholder
We propose a lead farmer promoter-adopter approach and use it
to assess the adoption potential of CA among smallholder farmers in Malawi.
This approach relies on the promoters being potential adopters themselves,
having had sufficient exposure and access to the technologies, and their
incentives not having been distorted by excessive incentives. These
conditions are reasonably satisfied in our application with a sample of 181
lead farmers from central and southern Malawi.
We find adoption rates
for the lead farmers of 56% for organic manure and crop rotation, 26% for
minimum tillage, 30% for mulching, and 12% for herbicide application. Lead
farmers recommend CA to their followers at rates of 66% for organic manure,
about 50% for crop rotation and minimum tillage, 28% for mulching, and less
than 10% for herbicide application. Assuming the validity of the
promoter-adopter approach, these findings together suggest that, in central
and southern Malawi, organic manure and crop rotation have the highest
adoption potential, mulching and minimum tillage come next, and herbicide
application has the lowest potential. With the farmer-to-farmer extension
approach gaining popularity in many countries, we expect that our
promoter-adopter approach to assessing adoption potential of new
technologies will be of broad interest.
Keywords: Africa; conservation agriculture; farmer-to-farmer extension; Malawi; promoter-adopter approach; technology adoption; (follow links to similar papers)
JEL-Codes: O33; Q16; (follow links to similar papers)
27 pages, January 26, 2017
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