Factors Affecting Adoption of Agroforestry and Evergreen Agriculture in Southern Africa

  •  Weston Mwase    
  •  Abel Sefasi    
  •  Joyce Njoloma    
  •  Betserai Nyoka    
  •  Daniel Manduwa    
  •  Jacinta Nyaika    


This paper examines the factors that affect adoption of agroforestry and integrated soil fertility management (ISFM) practices in Southern Africa. Agroforestry practices, especially evergreen agriculture and conservation agriculture with trees have emerged as sustainable measures of addressing land degradation and loss of soil fertility. Although agroforestry is known to be beneficial to farmers and the environment, its adoption rate falls far behind the projected goals. The present study reviewed several publications on adoption of agroforestry in Southern Africa and complemented the review with household and key informant interviews to obtain evidence from farmers and promoters of the technologies on the factors affecting adoption. The study revealed that the major factors affecting adoption of agroforestry fall into two main categories of socioeconomic and biophysical factors. The factors are high initial costs of agroforestry practices (75%), low extension knowledge (69%); unavailability of agroforestry germplasm (69%) for economic, social and biophysical categories respectively. Up to 84% of the key informants indicated that awareness of the connection between agroforestry and land quality improvement could lead to wide scale adoption of the technology. We conclude that Government policies will strongly influence adoption of agroforestry technologies. There is need to institutionalise sustainable agricultural land management practices through policy formulation, budgetary allocation for extension officers and farmer training and starter up inputs. Promotion of agroforestry should be coupled with investment in awareness creation, farmer-centered approaches in selection of technology and provision of inputs in the initial stages. Strong collaboration among policy makers, researchers and extension providers will be required to harmonise messages to be delivered to farming communities.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1927-0488
  • ISSN(Online): 1927-0496
  • Started: 2011
  • Frequency: quarterly

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