Husbandry-segmented communication for promoting adoption of climate-smart agricultural technologies for coffee production in Luwero District, Uganda
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This study sought to examine whether low adoption of Climate-Smart Agricultural Technologies (CSATS) was due to farmers’ level of awareness, communication techniques used, and the factors determining it. The study focused on smallholder coffee farmers in Luwero District as a case study, and was guided by the diffusion of innovations theory complemented by social learning theory and communication accommodation theory. Using the mixed methods design, interview data was collected from two purposively selected extension workers, and quantitative questionnaire data from 376 randomly selected smallholder coffee farmers. Data was analysed using qualitative content analysis and descriptive statistical methods. The results show that most farmers had high awareness of how to apply a few CSATS, including weed control, pruning, mulching and planting tree shades. However, they had low awareness of most CSATS, including managing shade trees, de-suckering, phased application of on-farm manure, plucking and burning twigs, uprooting and burning of poor coffee trees, application of phased trenching to control soil erosion, application of herbicides, water harvesting for irrigation and fertiliser application. Communication techniques that extension workers used to raise farmers’ awareness included one-to-one demonstrative dialogues, community engagement meetings and mass campaigns. However, most farmers were unaware of these techniques because extension workers did not reach them due to limiting factors that included transport constraints, poor farmer attendance of organised meetings and poor network and internet connectivity. From these findings, the conclusion is that farmers’ awareness of most CSATS needs to be improved. Recommendations made to realise the improvement include: solving extension workers’ transport limitations, improving roads and internet connectivity, and providing farmers with radios and other communication channels needed to get CSATS messages.