The objective of this study was to determine the nature and extent of use of soil conservation practices, and examine the factors determining their adoption by farmers in Southwestern Uganda. We collected data from 853 households in eight sub counties spread out in three districts (Kabale, Kisoro and Ntungamo) through household interviews. The study area was divided into three categories (low, medium and high) depending on assessment of the level of intervention by development projects in the last 15+ years. The various soil conservation measures used include crop rotation, intercropping, use of cover crops, manure application, trenches/terraces, alley cropping/spacing, mulching, conservation tillage, water harvesting and application of synthetic fertilizers. Generally, the level of use of soil conservation practices can be rated as “moderate” The level of adoption of the soil conservation practices was independent of previous levels of intervention by development projects. The major socio-economic factors affecting adoption of soil conservation practices in Southwestern Uganda are total male as well as total labour force in the household, household size, membership to farmer association, visitation by extension agents and total land size owned. Improvement in soil productivity requires farmers’ collective action, for example, through formation of innovation platforms to hasten technology diffusion.
Key words: Soil conservation, highlands, Southwestern Uganda.
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