Factors Affecting the Adoption of Soil and Water Conservation Practices by Small-Holder Farmers in Muyembe Sub-County, Eastern Uganda
Farmers in tropical rural areas are confronted with several challenges but outstanding among these challenges is soil degradation arising from soil erosion. This study involved identifying the dominant soil and water conservation practices and assessing the factors affecting their adoption in the Muyembe sub-county, Eastern Uganda. A total of 500 respondents were used to obtain primary data. As the study adopted a crosssectional design, we used questionnaires, interviews, focus group discussions and field observations to collect the required data. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and the non-parametric (Chi-square) test. The results indicated that the dominant soil and water conservation practices adopted in the study area were, contour cropping (77%), mixed cropping (59% and crop rotation (51%). The remaining five practices had less than a 50% adoption rate. The chi-square test revealed that the age and gender of the farmers had a significant association with the levels of the adoption of soil and water conservation practices among farmers at P<0.001. We concluded that the adoption of soil and water conservation practices was low, which left the majority of farmers vulnerable to soil erosion effects such as low yields and crop failure. We recommend that stakeholders who work on soil and water conservation programs use model farmers in the area to educate and demonstrate the importance of soil and water conservation practices to other farmers.