Journal article Open Access
Loyce Joy Sakala; Catherine Zulu; Weston Davy Sakala
The purpose of this study was to assess the adoption levels of agrosilvicultural practices among small-scale farmers of Misaka in Kitwe District of Zambia. 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 is very poor. The present study reviewed several publications on the adoption of agroforestry in Southern Africa and complemented the review with household and key informant interviews to obtain evidence from farmers and agriculture extension officers on the factors affecting the adoption of agrosilvicultural practices. The study revealed that the adoption of agrosilvicultural practices is very low. the results indicate that 44.9 % of respondents have not adopted the agrosilvicultural practices whereas only 21.4 % have adapted agrosilvicultural practices. Of those who have adopted, however, the retention rate for both technologies is low. Up to 84% of the key informants indicated that awareness of the connection between agrosilvicultural practices and land quality improvement could lead to wide-scale adoption of the technology. There is also a need to institutionalize sustainable agricultural land management practices through policy formulation, budgetary allocation for extension officers, and farmer training and starter-up inputs. The promotion of agroforestry should be coupled with investment in awareness creation, farmer-centered approaches in selecting technology, and provision of inputs in the initial stages. Strong collaboration among policymakers, researchers, and extension providers will be required to harmonize messages to be delivered to farming communities. The results, however, do not support the adoption of agrosilvicultural practices in the Misaka area.