Adoption Factors and Perceptions of Green Manure and Cover Crop Technologies Among Paraguayan Smallholder Farmers
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Adoption of green manures and cover crops among Paraguayan smallholder farmers may be more easily achieved if researchers, extensionists, and stakeholders understand social processes that drive farmers to adopt these conservation agriculture practices. The purpose of this study was to characterize Paraguayan smallholder farmer attributes, determine characteristic independent variables that significantly influence adoption of green manures and cover crops, evaluate participants’ perceptions of the technologies, and characterize adoption-extent rates of green manures and cover crops among participants. The sample population (N = 76) consisted of southeastern Paraguayan smallholder farmers that participated in an oral survey with the researcher. The data were analyzed through descriptive statistics, analysis of variance (ANOVA), bivariate correlation, and regression analysis to complete the research objectives. Findings of this study indicate: demographic conditions, variation between sample groups, relationships among the dependent and independent variables, and the influence of independent variables on the cultivation of green manure and cover crop technologies (user status, measured as the dependent variable). Decreased soil fertility is a significant constraint to production in fields, especially for smallholder farmers who lack access to inputs. The implementation of green manures and cover crops can be viewed as an erosion prevention tool for smallholder subsistence farmers. User participants are capable of managing green manures and cover crops for on-farm implementation or continued cultivation. Participants attributed the implementation of green manures and cover crops to increase crop production above all other potential benefits. Participants did not consider the technologies as an economically viable practice. However, the cultivation of green manures and cover crops were perceived to decrease farmer labor requirements. Chemical fertilizers positively influence adoption of the technologies. The availability of information, training attendance, and technical assistance all positively influence adoption of green manures and cover crops. Finally, participation in social organizations positively conditions adoption of the technologies. Researchers and extensionists should continue working with Paraguayan farmers to implement or determine appropriate soil conservation practices meanwhile keeping the beneficiaries’ input in consideration. Continued social research in green manure and cover crop technologies is warranted due to the lack of concise investigation efforts in a smallholder context.
Pratt, Orry James (2016). Adoption Factors and Perceptions of Green Manure and Cover Crop Technologies Among Paraguayan Smallholder Farmers. Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from