An evaluation of adoption and sustainability of soil conservation practices under small scale farming system of Adama district in Oromia region, Ethiopia

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Sokoine University of Agriculture


Over the years, numerous intervention approaches have been launched to promote improved technologies in order to attain sustainable development. However, extension approaches, which have been the dominant rural development strategy, have been slow in transforming agriculture resulting from low adoption rate of SWC technologies that were aggressively promoted through extension programmes. Thus, this study examines the adoption and sustainability of soil conservation practices looking into the major factors dictating the SWC technology adoption. The study is based on a critical review of literature including analysis of data collected from 120 farmer households and 40 extension field staff. In the study, two analytical techniques, descriptive statistics and logistic regression function, were employed in analyzing data. The results of the study reveal that rural development strategies have been formulated without due consideration to farmers’ indigenous knowledge and participation in development process. Specifically, literature confirms that past extension approaches have been biased against natural resource management and in this regard, except physical soil bund structure, other components of soil conservation packages were found marginalized and the major reason behind the better attention to soil bund is because of the support that the practice has received from SWC related projects over the past years. In this regard, a host of factors, most of which are policy related, were responsible for poor technology adoption and sustainability and the socio-economic factors also were found to be significant in dictating the adoption process. Overall, both the historical review and survey results reveal that integrated natural resource oriented approaches were not adopted and natural resources aspect was neglected. Therefore, from the findings of this study it is strongly recommended that policy makers and technical institutions should readdress the policy related issues and extension system should be revised in such a way that holistic approaches to ensure environmentally sustainable rural development are employed in small-scale farming system.


MSC-Thesis in Agricultural Education and Extension


Soil and water conservation (SWC) practices, Soil conservation practices, Small scale farming system, Adama district, Oromia Region, Ethiopia