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Farmers’ adoption of conservation agriculture : a review and synthesis of recent research

By: Knowler, D.
Contributor(s): Bradshaw, B.
Material type: materialTypeLabelArticlePublisher: London (United Kingdom) : Elsevier, 2007ISSN: 0306-9192.Subject(s): Conservation agriculture | Sustainability | Erosion | Farming systems | Environment | TillageOnline resources: Access only for CIMMYT staff In: Food Policy v. 32, n. 1, p. 25-48Summary: In light of growing concerns over the implications of many conventional agricultural practices, and especially the deep tilling of soils, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), among others, has begun to promote a package of soil conserving practices under the banner of ‘conservation agriculture’. While the title might be novel, its associated practices have long been employed by farmers, and studied by social scientists seeking to understand the reasons for their adoption and non-adoption. This paper reviews and synthesizes this past research in order to identify those independent variables that regularly explain adoption, and thereby facilitate policy prescriptions to augment adoption around the world. While a disaggregated analysis of a subset of commonly used variables reveals some underlying patterns of influence, once various contextual factors (e.g. study locale or method) are controlled, the primary finding of the synthesis is that there are few if any universal variables that regularly explain the adoption of conservation agriculture across past analyses. Given the limited prospect of identifying such variables through further research, we conclude that efforts to promote conservation agriculture will have to be tailored to reflect the particular conditions of individual locales.
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Article CIMMYT Knowledge Center: John Woolston Library

Lic. Jose Juan Caballero Flores

 

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In light of growing concerns over the implications of many conventional agricultural practices, and especially the deep tilling of soils, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), among others, has begun to promote a package of soil conserving practices under the banner of ‘conservation agriculture’. While the title might be novel, its associated practices have long been employed by farmers, and studied by social scientists seeking to understand the reasons for their adoption and non-adoption. This paper reviews and synthesizes this past research in order to identify those independent variables that regularly explain adoption, and thereby facilitate policy prescriptions to augment adoption around the world. While a disaggregated analysis of a subset of commonly used variables reveals some underlying patterns of influence, once various contextual factors (e.g. study locale or method) are controlled, the primary finding of the synthesis is that there are few if any universal variables that regularly explain the adoption of conservation agriculture across past analyses. Given the limited prospect of identifying such variables through further research, we conclude that efforts to promote conservation agriculture will have to be tailored to reflect the particular conditions of individual locales.

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