Assessing the barriers to adoption of conservation agriculture practices among Chepang communities in the central mid-hills of Nepal

Halbrendt, Jacqueline Marie Chan
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[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [December 2014]
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Growing global populations and shifting climates have led to increasing demands on agricultural systems to produce greater yields through the more efficient use of natural resources. Conservation Agriculture (CA) practices, have been introduced to improve crop production and promote sustainable development. However, the long-term adoption of introduced CA has been variable and such practices have frequently been abandoned for traditional practices following the completion of agency-funded development projects. Elements contributing to long-term adoption include personal, social, cultural, and economic factors, and the ability to align introduced technology with the individual goals of farmers and agricultural communities. Nevertheless, reviews of CA studies revealed that there are few, if any, universal determining factors that consistently influence the adoption of new technologies and factors influencing local adoption vary due to differing socio-cultural and ecological conditions. This dissertation research studies the barriers to adoption of CA practices in Nepal through analysis at three levels: community, household, and individual. At the community level, a cognitive modeling approach was used to measure the gaps in perceptions of the farming system and introduced CA technologies between farming communities and researchers. To assess the household level, gender-based engagement in decision-making and distribution of agricultural labor was measured to determine household dynamics and identify possible obstacles to CA implementation. Finally, to consider the barriers to adoption at the individual level, farmer socio-economic characteristics are assessed to determine the key factors involved in decisions of adoption or non-adoption. Each of these results contributes to greater understanding of the local cultural and environmental contexts in terms of long-term CA implementation.
Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2014.
Includes bibliographical references.
conservation agriculture, Nepal, subsistence farming, gender
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Theses for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (University of Hawaii at Manoa). Natural Resources and Environmental Management.
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