Factors influencing adoption of soil fertility replenishment technologies among small scale irish potato farmers in Kabale district
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The study explored the factors influencing the adoption of soil fertility replenishment technologies among small-scale Irish potato farmers in Kabale District. Objectives of this study were; to determine the effect of smallholder farmer socio-demographic characteristics on the adoption of SFRT by Irish potato farmers, to assess the effect of economic factors that contribute to adoption of SFRT by Irish potato farmersand to establish the challenges Irish farmers face in the use of SFRT in Kabale District. The study used a cross sectional survey design with both quantitative and qualitative approaches utilized. A questionnaire was administered to 125respondents out of a 113, 450population. Face to face interviewsfrom knowledgeablerespondents wereconducted and documentary review helped to augment the data obtained from the questionnaire. Data was analyzed using Statistical Program for Social Sciences (SPSS). The empirical findings were presented using descriptive statistics of frequencies and inferential statistics in form of Pearson Product Correlation Coefficients The results showed that 53.6% of respondents in county had access to credit while majority (61%) of the farmers could not access credit. These results imply that there is a limited accessibility of credits/loan whichmay impact ontheusageofagricultural technology.The results furtherrevealed that 89.6% of the respondents reported that they could afford the technologies, Further, the results revealed that farmers who could not afford the technologies was low (10.4%). The results showed that that 61.6% of the household interviewed had off-farm income. The findings also revealed that thenumber ofrespondents whodid nothaveoff-farm income was higher(54.8%),thus this implies that most of the respondents depended on agriculture as their main source of income lack of capital was ranked the highest among the limitations preventing farmers from fully adopting SFRT in both counties at 69.2%, further, lack of manure ranked third at 15.0%, 12.8% the farmers did not experience any challenges in the adoption of SFRT because probably they didn’t know of the technologies. Lack of soil amendment ranked the least constraint in adopting SFRT at 0.0%. This result in this study implies that most of the farmers in the two counties were not able to get credit or they were reluctant to access the credit probably due to high interest rate the mainstream financial institutions charge. The Study objectives weretestedout usinghypotheses anditwas foundout thatthereis amoderate positive relationship between economic factors and Adoption of SFRT, given by Pearson’s correlation coefficientof 0.555.The relationship isstatisticallysignificant at95% confidence level (2-tailed) as the p-value is less than 0.025 (=0.000) and thus the results further shows that there is a weak positive relationship between Challenges and Adoption of SFRT, given by Pearson’s correlation coefficientof 0.224.The relationship isstatisticallysignificant at95% confidence level (2-tailed) as the p-value is less than 0.025 (=0.000). The study recommends that the participatory research should be encouraged by Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries together with NAADs, NARO between researchers, extension, and farmers. This will encourage farmers to own the technology at the initial stages of generation and willfully appreciate the technology during evaluation. Participatory research will the therefore increase farmers adoption of the technology.