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Gliricidia Agroforestry Technology Adoption Potential in Selected Dryland Areas of Dodoma Region, Tanzania

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Declining soil fertility is one of the major problems facing producers of field crops in most dryland areas of Sub-Saharan Africa. In response to the declining soil fertility, extensive participatory research has been undertaken by the World Agroforestry (ICRAF) and smallholder farmers in Dodoma region, Tanzania. The research has, amongst others, led to the development of Gliricidia agroforestry technology. The positive impact of Gliricidia intercropping on crop yields has been established. However, information on farmers’ willingness and ability to adopt the Gliricidia agroforestry technology on their farms is limited. This study predicts the adoption of Gliricidia agroforestry and conventional mineral fertilizer use technology. Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) were conducted with groups of farmers, purposively selected based on five sets of criteria: (i) at least 2 years of experience in either trying or using Gliricidia agroforestry technology, (ii) at least 1 year of experience in either trying or using the mineral fertilizer technology (iii) at least 10 years of living in the study villages, (iv) the age of 18 years and above, and (v) sex. The Adoption and Diffusion Outcome Prediction Tool (ADOPT) was used to predict the peak adoption levels and the respective time in years. A sensitivity analysis was conducted to assess the effect of change in adoption variables on predicted peak adoption levels and time to peak adoption. The results revealed variations in peak adoption levels with Gliricidia agroforestry technology exhibiting the highest peak of 67.6% in 12 years, and that the most influential variable to the peak adoption is the upfront cost of investing in Gliricidia agroforestry and fertilizer technologies. However, in Gliricidia agroforestry technology most production costs are incurred in the first year of project establishment but impact the long term biophysical and economic benefits. Moreover, farmers practicing agroforestry technology accrue environmental benefits, such as soil erosion control. Based on the results, it is plausible to argue that Gliricidia agroforestry technology has a high adoption potential and its adoption is influenced by investment costs. We recommend two actions to attract smallholder farmers investing in agroforestry technologies. First, enhancing farmers’ access to inputs at affordable prices. Second, raising farmers’ awareness of the long-term environmental benefits of Gliricidia agroforestry technology.

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