In recent years, Conservation Agriculture has been promoted in sub-Saharan Africa as an alternative farming system for smallholder farmers to address declining soil productivity and climate change. CA has to be tailored to the agro-ecological and socio-economic context of smallholder farmers to achieve impact. But even if there is a ‘perfect fit’, the farmer still has his or her own reasons to choose whether to switch to CA or not. This paper explores the reasons why farmers choose for CA or conventional farming, using the Reasoned Action Approach. Based on findings from a recent study in Kenya among CA farmer field school members and their neighbours, the farmer’s decision making is analysed by distinguishing three elements in the decision-making process: the farmer’s attitude towards CA, the farmer’s perception of the social norms towards CA, and the farmer’s perceived behavioural control (PBC) over practicing CA. Strong evidence was found that attitude and PBC are contributing to intentions to adopt CA practices. It is concluded that experimentation and learning are key to support intentions and adoption of CA, because they contribute both to realistic attitudes towards CA and an improved perceived behavioural control.
Land Use Policy – Elsevier
Published: Nov 1, 2016
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