Assessment of the Farm Level Financial Profitability of the Magoye RipperiIn Maize and Cotton Production in Southern and Eastern Provinces
With the risk of the drought in the agricultural production areas of Zambia, conservation farming (CF) was introduced as a set of technologies that can improve productivity while reducing plant stress due to moisture constraints. Under animal traction, CF involves using the Magoye ripper to minimize soil disturbance in land preparation and to help improve water conservation, thus enhancing farmers’ land and labor productivity. This technology has been promoted by Golden Valley Agricultural Research Trust (GART) and other stakeholders in the agricultural sector in Zambia and shows promise in on-station and on-farm trials. This research is based on actual farmer use of the ripper in Eastern and Southern Provinces in 2004/2005, a year with erratic rainfall and poor growing conditions in general. Thus, this research reflects how farmers apply the technology in combination with other cropping practices in cotton and maize production, and the outcome of its use under poor rainfall conditions, in comparison to animal traction ploughing. In this study, farmers were not directed, as in an on-farm trial, but used the rippers and other practices in their own way. The results show that the technology has benefits. When asked, the farmers identified various benefits to using the ripper. About 23% of the farmers indicated that ripped lines collected and conserved water such that crops in ripped fields were able to grow even during dry spells. The second most important benefit identified by the farmers was that the technology enables farmers to do early land preparation. Researchers use regression analysis to understand the effect of various practices and factors on yields of maize and cotton.
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- Haggblade, Steven & Tembo, Gelson, 2003. "Development, Diffusion and Impact of Conservation Farming in Zambia," Food Security Collaborative Working Papers 54464, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
- Haggblade, Steven & Tembo, Gelson, 2003. "Conservation farming in Zambia:," EPTD discussion papers 108, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
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