Policy and institutional incentives and disincentives on conservation agriculture with trees in Kibwezi and Meru Counties, Kenya
Kanoi, Mary Ng'endo
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Conservation Agriculture With Trees (CAWT) is an approach that combines thepractices of Conservation Agriculture (CA) with those of agroforestry. One of theknowledge gaps that must be addressed to fully exploit the potential of CAWT pertains topolicies favouring or discouraging the adoption ofCA practices among small scale farmers.This study hypothesized that policy incentives are needed to stimulate adoption of C;::AWTby small scale farmers in Kibwezi and MeruCounties, Kenya. The study identified andanalyzed existing policy incentives and disincentives promoting or hindering large scaleadoption of CAWT in Kenya by reviewing six agricultural policies related to CAWT. Inaddition, participatory policy analysis was utilized in purposive sampling of key informantsat the national level and stratified random sampling of small scale farmers at the local level.At the national level, twenty-six national government officials and technical people wereinterviewed and at the local level, 120 farmers were surveyed in both Kibwezi and MeruCounties. The study found that policy compliance has more to do with inherent benefitsassociated with adopting the policies than the incentives or benefits directly provided.Further, the policies are either (i) poorly implemented or (ii) not exclusively targeted to small scale farmers. Farmers believe that 'indirect enabling incentives' such as provisionof improved extension services, security of land tenure and market development couldoffer the best motivation for them to adopt CAWT. Based on the study findings, the keypolicy recommendations for promotion of CAWT are that (i) CA techniques need to betailor-made to suit local community's social and cultural context (ii) the primary focusshould be on enhancing the 3 key CA principles simultaneously (iii) CA is most successfulwhen particular agro-ecological zones are targeted.