Conservation agriculture for climate change adaptation in Zambia: a cost-benefit analysis

Conservation agriculture (CA) is among the most widely-promoted approaches to climate change adaptation in agriculture in Zambia. While the biophysical and land productivity benefits of CA have been extensively investigated, little empirical evidence exists on the costs and overall profitability of investing in CA practices. The aims of this study were: (i) to estimate the on-farm costs and benefits of CA practices and, ultimately, their viability in the context of more sustainable, climate-adapted smallholder farming; and (ii) to analyse the barriers to CA adoption at the farm level. This case study reports the results of a cost-benefit analysis (CBA) that was applied to the Conservation Agriculture Scaling-up Project (CASU), which promoted CA for climate change adaptation in Zambia. The study also reports an econometric analysis conducted to determine the
barriers to adoption of the promoted sustainable farm management practices and to estimate the impact of factors which may facilitate adoption.