Impact of adoption lag of soil and water conservation practices on crop productivity in Sio-Malaba Malakisi basin of Kenya-Uganda border
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The increasing need to feed the highly growing population has significantly led to land degradation, resulting in a substantial reduction of soil and crop productivity. If expected future food demand is to be met, global food production needs to double by 2050. To meet this food demand, soil improvement measures are a good option that can be utilized to make efficient and sustainable use of existing cropland. Adoption of Soil and Water Conservation Practices (SWCPs) can improve crop productivity and reduce soil erosion levels. However, the adoption rate of these practices is still low in many counties, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa. Moreover, even those who adopt soil and water conservation practices do not adopt on time and the adoption intensity is usually low. There are limited studies about the adoption lag of soil and water conservation practices and its impact on crop productivity. This study determined the adoption lag of soil and water conservation practices, its determinants, and its impact on crop productivity in the Sio-Malaba Malakisi River Basin, located in the Kenya-Uganda border region. Data were collected from 506 households in five districts in the region. A duration analysis model was used to estimate adoption lag and its determinants while Generalized Propensity Score Matching was employed to determine the impact of adoption lag of soil and water conservation practices on crop productivity. Results indicate that the average adoption lag was about 10 years, with no significant differences in adoption lags of individual SWCPs between Kenya and Uganda for most practices. Significant differences in adoption lag for individual SWCPs were observed between male and female-headed households. From Duration analysis, significant determinants of adoption lag of SWCPs were found to be household size, education level of the household head, number of accessible markets, access to credit, age of the household head, farmland owned, participation in social groups, tropical livestock units, and off-farm work. Results from the estimation of the impact of adoption lag of SWCPs on crop productivity indicated that the longer farmers take to adopt, the less they get from their land in terms of crop productivity, and this gets even worse with time. In Kenya, the adoption lag of SWCPs has an increasing impact on crop productivity in the short run and a decreasing impact on crop productivity in the long run while the reverse is true in Uganda. Means to enhance timely adoption of SWCPs as well as increased access to credit and markets are recommended.