Perception of farmers on conservation agriculture for climate change adaptation in Namibia

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Traditional cultivation methods in Namibia are characterised by cultivating the same type of crops persistently on the same piece of land, using a disc or mouldboard plough with minimal to no fertilizer application. This study assessed the knowledge level of farmers’ on conservation agriculture and the household factors, which influence farmers to take up conservation agriculture in the Omusati Region of Namibia. Both socioeconomic and biophysical data were collected through household face-to-face interviews from 40 households located in seven constituencies of the Omusati Region. The results showed that technological know-how, limited agricultural inputs and implements for conservation agriculture hindered the uptake of conservation agriculture. In addition, lack of crop residues for mulching purposes and little understanding of the importance of crop rotation were identified as barriers to practice conservation agriculture. Logistic regression analysis showed that age, gender, marital status, education level, crop field size and farming period did not significantly influence the adoption of conservation agriculture. The study indicates that there is a need to encourage the use of climate smart agriculture technologies such as conservation agriculture, which minimizes the negative impacts of dry spells in order to maximize crop production and increase farmers’ understanding on the principles of conservation agriculture. Thus, strategies and policies to reduce poverty need to consider local contexts, social norms and values. In this regard, engagement of local farmers and demonstration of the short and long-term benefits of conservation agricultural practices offer promising entry points.
Conservation agriculture, Climate change adaptation
Taapopi, M., Kamwi, J.M., & Siyambango, N. (2018). Perception of farmers on conservation agriculture for climate change adaptation in Namibia. Environment and Natural Resources Research, 8(3), 33-43.