Adoption and Impact of Conservation Agriculture on Smallholder Farmers’ Crop Productivity and Income in Luapula Province, Zambia

  •  Stanford Nkhoma    
  •  Thomson Kalinda    
  •  Elias Kuntashula    


Despite efforts to systemically disseminate Conservation Agriculture (CA) technology in Luapula Province of Zambia, the adoption rate remains limited. Furthermore, no empirical evidence has been presented on the factors influencing adoption of the technology or the extent to which farmers’ livelihood has been influenced due to uptake of the technology. This study therefore examined the adoption and impact of CA on crop productivity and income on farming households in the Province. Using the 2012 Rural Agricultural Livelihood Survey (RALS) data, the study employed a probit regression model to identify factors influencing adoption of CA among the smallholder farmers in the Province. The probit regression analysis showed that advice on CA and access to wetlands/dambos by households increased the probability to adopt CA. The study also adopted the Propensity Score Matching (PSM) approach to help match the adopters and non-adopters based on observable covariates in order to assess technology impact by providing consistent estimates of the Average Treatment Effect on the Treated (ATT). The results showed a small but insignificant positive impact of CA on crop productivity and income. This suggests that adoption of CA has the potential to generate an improvement in farming households’ livelihood in Luapula Province, Zambia. Therefore, adoption of CA in Luapula Province should be explicitly encouraged. This can be further enhanced by increased access to quality extension services that incorporates promotion of CA practices among the smallholder farming households in the area.

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