The spatio-temporal patterns in adoption of conservation agriculture among smallholder farmers in Mpigi District
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Amidst unprecedented land degradation, changes in climate and resource scarcity, conservation agriculture is increasingly adopted to enhance efficient land and water resource use, stable and sustainable agricultural productivity. This work investigated the spatial-temporal patterns in adoption of Conservation Agriculture practices amongst smallholder farmers in Mpigi district. The study (i) analyse the spatial-temporal patterns of adoption, (ii) assessed the factors influencing the adoption of the different Conservation Agricultural practices and (iii) explored the strategies for enhancing adoption. A cross-sectional study design with quantitative and qualitative data was deployed. Chi-Square analysis established the spatial differences of conservation agriculture across studied parishes. A factor analysis was used to establish the broad typologies of Conservation Agricultural practices. Rogers‟ Theory guided in analysing temporal adoption. Qualitative data was subjected to content analysis and triangulation. Results showed a significant spatial difference in adoption especially crop rotation, bio-intensive gardening and mulching. Practices that target soil fertility and water conservation were generally adopted equally across the two parishes. Such practices included Agro-forestry, use of legumes, semi-intensive poultry rearing and Contour farming. Between 2013 and 2019, the structure of adoption comprised early and late majority adopters. Socio-economic factors of education, age, marital status, household potential labour and land size significantly influenced adoption of adoption of conservation agricultural practices differently. Strategies in line of significance included regular peer, key roles in planning and willingness of support organizations as well as field visits. The adoption of Conservation Agricultural practices is however not uniform amongst smallholder farmers and thus require a supportive environment in form of favorable institutional arrangements, information sharing, capacity development, learning, and partnerships for wider uptake of innovative and sustainable Conservation Agricultural practices.