Abstract for: Exploratory Model of Conservation Agriculture Adoption and Diffusion in Zambia: a Dynamic Perspective

Population growth and constant arable land in Zambia constantly decrease the soil availability for agricultural purposes. At the same time, they increase the risk of food insecurity. The importance of soil as a vital resource in the agricultural production system increases in the course of projected negative impacts of climate change. Conservation agriculture has been highly promoted in Zambia as a sustainable agricultural practice. Conservation agriculture protects the sustainability of minerals in the soil which leads to higher and more stable yields. However, conservation agriculture in Zambia is only conducted as part of farmersí farming practice, which means farmers still use other practices or mix some practices from conservation agriculture with conventional agriculture practices. Previous studies have identified important determinants of conservation agriculture adoption as an innovation in farming practice in sub-Saharan Africa. However, none of those studies capture the dynamics of adoption and diffusion process. This study aims to explain observed adoption and diffusion patterns of conservation agriculture using a system dynamics model. The model structure is based on economic and social determinants identified in previous adoption studies and reports and calibrated using a combination of quantitative and qualitative data collection methods. Policy analyses identify coherent policy options to increase the implementation of conservation agriculture.