Rain water harvesting technologies (RWHTs) known as Zai pit and Half-moon have been embraced by small-scale farmers as a solution to climate related shocks. However, little is known on the socio-economic, institutional and technological aspects affecting farmers demand for the technologies as well their effects on farmers’ income. This study was meant to fill this knowledge gap. The general objective was to contribute towards improved food security through enhanced use of Zai pit and Half-moon among small-scale farmers. The specific objectives were to: determine the socio-economic, institutional and technological aspects of small-scale farmers; assess the demand for Zai pit and Half-moon technologies among small-scale farmers; and to determine the effects of Zai pit and Half-moon technologies on small-scale farmers' income. Multistage sampling technique was used to interview 280 small-scale farmers using semi-structured questionnaires. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to determine small-scale farmers’ socio-economic and institutional characteristics. Confirmatory Factors Analysis (CFA), Negative Binominal Regression (NBR) and Multinomial Switching Regression (MSR) were used to determine farmers’ perception, demand and the effects of the technologies on their income, respectively. Compared to non-users, the users of Zai pit and Half-moon were younger (49 old years), earning less off-income (333.841.00 FCFA), owning less Tropical Livestock Unit (2 TLU), having more contact with extension services providers (3 time) and had more training. CFA also revealed that users had a higher risk attitude (4.23), higher level of compatibility (4.27), higher perception on ease of use (3.87), higher perception on resources availability (2.03) and higher level of innovativeness (4.39) compared to non-users. The NBR results showed that demand was negatively influenced by the gender status, risk attitude, farm size, soil fertility, off-farm income and production farm assets value. Conversely, demand was positively influenced by the level of education, risk attitude, number of contact of extension service providers, farm size, soil erosion, slope of soil, compatibility, ease of use, innovativeness, usefulness and perception on timeless. The MSR analysis on the average treatment effect indicated that users of Zai pit, Half-moon and Zai-Half-moon earn (42.286 FCFA, 16.073 FCFA and 110.976 FCFA respectively) more income from the main crop and (158.040 FCFA, 45.448 FCFA and 431.714 FCFA) more from the general household income than non- users. To improve Zai pit and Half-moon use, the study recommends policy makers to improve farmers’ access to market, diversification of income, quality information and sensitizing farmers’ perception on technologies.

Background information 
Agriculture is the engine of the economy of Mali. It constitutes the principal source of income for around 75% of the population, mainly in rural areas (Bélières, 2014). The annual average agriculture Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate was 5.2 % in January 2018, making the sector the most dynamic over that period (Trading Economics, 2018). Although most of the small-scale farmers in Mali practice subsistence farming, agriculture has great potential as a driver for economic growth as it contributes 41% to the GDP of Mali (World Bank, 2014). 

In spite of the role played by the agricultural sector in the country’s economy, the sector is faced with a myriad of challenges such as unpredictable weather, soil degradation, low productivity and post-harvest losses among others. In addition, inadequate rainwater conservation poses one of the greatest threats to agricultural productivity and production leading to low yields. This is emphasized by Webber et al. (2014) who noted that, these challenges have led to increased food insecurity and poverty among the small-scale farmers’ communities and the most vulnerable people are the poor farmers. The findings are further supported by the United Nation Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) which reported that, there are 4.1 million people suffering from food insecurity in the country (UNOCHA, 2018). 

Land degradation, which is defined as the loss of production capacity as a result of loss of soil fertility, soil biodiversity and degradation of natural resources (Blaikie and Brookfield, 2015) remains one of the key environmental problems and poses a threat to the well-being of many households. This is due to many factors: drought, loss of vegetation, soil erosion, low or erratic rainfall patterns, inappropriate use and poor management of land. According to Duncan (2016), the effect of soil degradation, combined with mismanagement of ecosystem and extreme climatic conditions, have resulted in bare soils that have become sealed and encrusted. These phenomena in turn reduce the agricultural potential of the land. It is on the foregoing that adaptation actions are essential to the survival of farming systems. 

Regarding adaptation actions, significant investments have been made in semi-arid regions to develop and promote a range of soil and water conservation technologies. These aim at improving food productivity, food security and farmers’ income in the face of extreme variability of rainfall and severe drought (Ayande, 2018). The practices commonly known today as Soil and Water Conservation Technologies (SWCTs) were introduced in farming systems in Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali (Abdulai and Huffman, 2014). The most common SWC technology used is Rainwater Water Harvesting Technologies (RWHT). They are massively promoted by Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) and national agricultural extension. 

Studies in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) indicate that RWHTs stabilized landscapes. Jat et al. (2012) reported that, RWHTs provides an opportunity to stabilize agricultural landscape in semi-arid regions and to make them more productive and more resilient towards climate change. As noted by Zougmore et al. (2010), substantial experimental evidence of RWHT has shown their high potential to increase crop production and productivity. A report by Yosef and Asmamaw (2015), noted that RWHTs in rain-fed agriculture has the potential of reducing the negative impact of mid-season dry spells in semi-arid environments. Thereby, they contribute effectively to the rehabilitation of degraded lands and maintain soil fertility. Sawadogo (2011) noted that, RWHTs such as Zai pits and Half-moon help to secure agricultural output in unpredictable climates. The Zai pit (as shown in Plate 1a and 1b) is a traditional technique used for the rehabilitation of degraded and crusted soils. It involves creating pockets or shallow pits in the soil, mostly excavated 25-35 cm in diameter, 10-15 cm deep and 3 m apart, which are designed to capture surface runoff water and maximize water infiltration into, otherwise, encrusted soils. They are often accompanied by the application of compost, usually manure (300g of manure or compost) in each pit (Sawadogo, 2011). Despite of Zai pit and Half-moon are traditional technique, they were introduced in Kita Cercle as new agricultural technologies....

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Item Type: Kenyan Postgraduate Material  |  Attribute: 84 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Price: KSh900  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.


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