Farmers’ Perception of Erosion Risk and Its Implication on the Adoption of Soil and Water Conservation Practices

Daniel Luliro Nadhomi, John Stephen Tenywa, Paul Musali, Bob Roga Nakileza

Abstract


Farmers’ perception of the erosion risk relates with their decision to adopt its mitigation measures. Little has been done to escalate this idea as a basis for effective watershed management. This paper assesses farmers’ perception of erosion risk; and examines the underlying factors guiding the decision for the choice of SWC practices. Interviews were conducted on 390 farmers in Nabajuzi watershed of the Lake Victoria Basin of Uganda. Data analysis was performed using a Probit regression model. The hypotheses tested were: (a) farmers’ perception of the erosion risk does not correspond with their decision to adopt SWC practices; (b) the adoption level of soil and water conservation (SWC) practices is a reflection of both their technical performance and the degree of acceptability by local farmers. The perceived risk ranged sequentially from high to very high on geomorphic units of back slope, shoulder and summit; contradicting the USLE output whose range was moderate to very high. Farmers believed that management of these slopes should combine agronomic and structural measures. On the toe and valley, sheet wash was perceived to be a weak indicator of erosion risk; and if this form occurred, mulching was sufficient to contain it. The significant (P<0.05) factors in this watershed influencing farmers’ adoption decision for SWC practices were: age, formal education level, on-farm income, family size, distance of farm from homestead, and access to agricultural extension service and training. It was concluded that though inconsistent with USLE, farmers’ perception of the erosion risk was pivotal in adoption and implementation of SWC measures.


Keywords


Erosion Management, GIS, Lake Victoria Basin of Uganda

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