This article attempts to fill an important knowledge gap by studying conservation agriculture (CA) adoption in southern Malawi. The results show that farmers view adoption of CA as a series of separate decisions, rather than a single decision, and that mulching residues and intercropping or rotating with legumes introduces a multiplier effect on the adoption of zero tillage.
This study used ethnographic interviews and machine learning to explore how farmers decide to adopt specific activities on CA in Malawi. The results show that adoption by neighbors (i.e., peer effects) matters most, with possible implications for the overall cost of encouraging CA (e.g., through subsidies) as it is taken up across a landscape.
There is a great deal of interest in increasing food security through the sustainable intensification of food production in developing countries around the world. The research team uses discrete choice experiments to study farmers’ preferences for different conservation agriculture (CA) practices, and assess willingness to adopt CA.
In this study, the research focus is on water quality as a vehicle to illustrate the role that the water, energy, and food (WEF) Nexus perspective may have in promoting ecosystem services in agriculture. Drawing on cases from the team's research, they demonstrate how the WEF Nexus perspective—by integrating non-point-source agricultural problems under well-defined energy issues—can highlight central beneficiaries of improved agricultural practice, where none may have existed otherwise.
Rates of adoption of pro-environmental practices in agriculture in many parts of the world are low. In this study the team examines the potential for a recent innovation (the agglomeration payment) to improve adoption of pro-environmental practice in a rural agricultural context.
The research team evaluates the impacts of forest user group participation under Malawi's Forest Co-management Program on forest clearing and household income. Using propensity score weighting and propensity score analysis with non-parametric regression, the team finds that the program lowered the rate and extent of forest clearing.
How do borrowers respond to improvements in a lender’s ability to punish defaulters? This reports the results of a randomized field experiment in rural Malawi that examines the impact of fingerprinting borrowers in a context where a unique identification system is absent.