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PROPOSAL PRESENTATION. TITLE:CONSERVATION FARMING STUDIES UNDER TRANSITIONAL AEZs SUCH AS EMBU TO ENCOURAGE FARMING PRACTICES AND FARMERS’ ACCEPTABILITY BY KIREMA MWENDA ANTONY A22/OO15/2009 SUPERVISOR:PROF.LEVI S.M.AKUNDABWENI. BACKGROUND. DEFINITION

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Proposal presentation
PROPOSAL PRESENTATION

TITLE:CONSERVATION FARMING STUDIES UNDER TRANSITIONAL AEZs SUCH AS EMBU TO ENCOURAGE FARMING PRACTICES AND FARMERS’ ACCEPTABILITY

BY KIREMA MWENDA ANTONY

A22/OO15/2009

SUPERVISOR:PROF.LEVI S.M.AKUNDABWENI


Background
BACKGROUND

DEFINITION

  • Conservation Agriculture is an approach to maintaining agro-ecosystems for improved and sustained productivity, increased profits and food security while preserving and enhancing the resources base and the environment. It comprises three major principles: minimum soil tillage, permanent organic soil cover and crop rotation.

  • At present studies are going on in Embu at KARI, Kakamega KARI Centre, Bungoma and Siaya counties as project areas.

  • This initiative will be rolled out in other parts of the country in the long run.

  • Kenya is therefore among several COMESA states where the technology is rapidly spreading with Tanzania and Mozambique having embraced the technology already (as cited in main proposal)


Literature review
LITERATURE REVIEW

PRINCIPLES BEHIND CONSERVATION FARMING

  • As opposed to traditional ploughing methods the technology keeps the farm moist through retention of crop residues that also prevent soil erosion(the minimum tillage principle).

  • Permanent soil cover principle (Hobbs et al. 2007).

  • Accompanied by crop rotation principle where different crops are varied on the farm from time to time in effect disrupting survival and multiplication cycles of pests, diseases and weeds(Hobbs et al. 2007).

  • The technology focuses mainly on sustainable production of crops under intensive cultivation of land where two crops may be inter cropped sometimes twice a year in case of adequate rainfall (Hobbs et al. 2007).

  • Sometimes farmers may use herbicides on their farms lethal to weeds in place of cultivation(Hobbs et al. 2007).


Problem statement
PROBLEM STATEMENT

  • The most important barrier to the adoption of CA practices is the lack of knowledge on how to do it (know how). There is no adequate blueprint available for conservation agriculture, as all agro-ecosystems are different. A particularly important gap is the frequent dearth of information on locally adapted cover crops that produce high amounts of biomass under the prevailing conditions. The success or failure of conservation agriculture depends greatly on the flexibility and creativity of the practitioners and extension and research services of a region. Trial and error, both by official institutes and the farmers themselves, is often the only reliable source of information.


Justification
JUSTIFICATION

  • Conservation agriculture involves radical changes in what extension services do. An effective way to promote conservation agriculture is through farmer education on the field, schools and other approaches that put farmers and their needs at more consideration, rather than seeing them as mere recipients of advice. Such revolutionary changes require teaching, not only on the farm itself but also within schools and colleges. Extension staff will need intensive training so they can learn the necessary technologies. Field demonstrations and awareness-creation campaigns will also be needed. The mass media must be harnessed to support the campaign.


QUESTIONS ARISING

  • Are farmers satisfied with traditional way of land preparation in Embu and Maua?

  • Are they aware of the current KARI research on conservation agriculture?

  • Is conservation farming to them seen as an affordable and alternative technology?

    HYPOTHESIS

  • There are no disadvantages resulting from traditional tillage

  • Conservation farming is not anything different from what farmers traditionally do in Embu and Maua

    OBJECTIVES

    The objectives of this study are to investigate:

  • the disadvantages resulting from traditional tillage

  • the extent to which minimum tillage is a common practice

  • farmers acceptability of the technology in Embu and Maua


Materials and methods
MATERIALS AND METHODS

The project focuses on KARI Embu mandate areas especially Embu region and Maua.

Working on a project carried out by KARI researchers on the adoption process of conservation farming.

Aim at carrying out my survey on farms located in Maua which involve a set number of farmers.

Data collection methods

  • Use of questionnaires

  • Direct interviews

  • Use of camera will be vital with aim of picking visual images on various practices on the farms to be surveyed.

    Data collected will be analyzed by use of SPSS model of data analysis.



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