Smallholder Farmers’ Perceptions of Climate Change and Conservation Agriculture: Evidence from Zambia

  •  Progress Nyanga    
  •  Fred Johnsen    
  •  Jens Aune    
  •  Thomson Kalinda    


Actors involved in promoting conservation agriculture have often not taken into account perceptions of smallholder farmers of climate change and CA as an adaptation strategy. This study documents smallholder farmers’ perceptions of climate change and conservation agriculture. Most farmers attributed climate change to supernatural forces. Smallholder farmers’ perceptions related to floods and droughts were significantly associated with adoption of conservation agriculture. Extent to which smallholder farmers perceived conservation agriculture as a climate change adaptation strategy was very low. This suggests existence of other important reasons for practicing conservation agriculture than adaptation to climate change. Policy implications of the study are: conservation agriculture projects should not only focus on technical approaches to increase adoption rates but also consider social aspects such as perceptions that are equally important in conservation agriculture. Inclusion of climate change communication to facilitate exchange of climatic information that would enable smallholder farmers relate to conservation agriculture as an adaptation strategy is essential.

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