The farm-level economics of conservation agriculture for resource-poor farmers
MetadataShow full item record
This article utilizes economics to examine constraints to the uptake of Conservation Agriculture (CA) in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. The authors develop a conceptual framework to anchor a discussion of the role of farm-level economics in CA adoption. This conceptual framework serves as a lens through which the authors examine literature on CA adoption, and as a basis for a quantitative model to explore the economic performance of CA. The literature review examines studies on specific components of CA, as well as studies of the CA package as a whole. The majority of publications on the CA package, as well as on the rotation and minimum tillage components, demonstrate that farmers would benefit from adoption. Despite this, adoption remains low. Several possible explanations of non-adoption are offered. The article also describes a quantitative model, based on a case study in northern Zimbabwe, that further explores farm-level economics of CA. Findings from this analysis demonstrate that CA is more attractive when farmers have larger framers, longer time horizons, fenced land, or less uncertainty about CA benefits. The model reinforces the authors’ argument that the farm-level economics of CA varies widely based on factors specific to each farm and to each region.