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Abdollahzadeh G, Farahi N, Sharifzadeh M S. Factors Affecting the Adoption of Conservation Measures in Soil Erosion Control: A Case of Orchard Lands of Chehel-Chay Watershed . E.E.R.. 2017; 7 (1) :50-68
Gorgan University of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources ,
Abstract:   (3481 Views)

Soil as one of the most important inputs in agricultural production process plays an important role in the quality of production operation, food security and sustainable development. On the other hand, soil erosion as one of the environmental agriculture issues has been intensified with increasing population and transforming to intensive forms of agriculture in recent years. Minodasht County in Golestan province of Iran is faced daily with the phenomenon of erosion which contributes to weakening agro-silvo-pastoral production. According to many previous investigations, soil degradation is one of the basic problems facing villages within Minodasht County in their efforts to increase production and reduce poverty and food insecurity. In order to avoid or mitigate these detrimental environmental effects, a number of conservation measures can be undertaken by farmers. Hence, the purpose of this study was to investigate factors affecting the adoption of soil conservation practices in horticulture lands of Chehel-Chai watershed basin.
There are three groups of adoption models: (i) the innovation-diffusion model, (ii) the economic constraints model, and (iii) user-technique characteristics model. The third group is of interest to us principally because of the difficulties involved in collecting data for the first two, and because of our working hypotheses. According to this model, the characteristics of the technique, within the institutional and socio-economic context of production, play a central role in the adoption process. In the same way, it takes into consideration the diversity of activities having an influence on adoption. Moreover, this user-technique model integrates the perception of the individual, which has rarely been studied.
The target population of this research consisted of 623 fruit growers of Chehel-Chai watershed, out of which 241 samples were selected through cluster sampling from 12 villages. Chehel-Chai watershed is characterized by a high degree of soil degradation and common practices of soil conservation, i.e. the use of strip crops and crop rotation. The data were collected via questionnaire whose validity was confirmed by some experts’ comments, and also its reliability was confirmed through calculating Cronbach Alpha for perception items of benefits (0.78) and cost using of soil conservation measures. The data collected through survey were processed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) and Eviews.
The results showed that 53.5 percent of the respondents stated that their garden needs urgent soil conservation measures, while only 37.8 percent of respondents using one of the soil conservation methods among which permanent soil cover by simultaneous cultivation and strip cropping were the main conservation methods that are mostly used. The results showed that 48.1 percent had little awareness regarding the soil conservation methods. Among the items related to benefits of conservation agriculture, the items such as, increase soil fertility and reduce runoff pollution were more important, and the items related to cost of soil conservation such as high risk of new methods and increasing labor costs have a higher priority. The results of running logit model showed that agricultural experience, age, and perceived costs of conservational agriculture have a negative impact while the variables frequency of flooding, awareness of soil conservation methods, using soil tests in the garden, existence of soil erosion, area of slop land, land size and income have a positive and significant impact on the adoption of soil conservation methods.
Soil degradation due to erosion in the study area was increased which led to a significant decrease in land performance and that is why the respondents had a great desire to the adoption of soil conservation measures. The combination of individual variables, farm level, perception of costs and benefits of conservational agriculture, and knowledge and awareness of soil erosion influences the adoption soil conservation methods. These components must be considered in the design of extension programs to increase the effectiveness of this program to encourage the adoption and use of conservation methods.

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Type of Study: Research |
Received: 2016/07/19 | Published: 2017/10/14

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