The use of drip irrigation has the potential to increase yields but uptake by smallholder farmers in Zimbabwe has been low. This study was conducted to determine the factors influencing the adoption of smallholder farmers in Zimbabwe. The study used a quantitative analysis, with the Logit regression model in order to show the relationship between variables in the study. The descriptive characteristics of the smallholder farmers with respect to use and non-use of drip irrigation in crop production were also identified. The study took place in Mutare district. Data was collected from 92 farmers. 46 of the farmers were drip irrigation users whilst 46 of the farmers were none drip irrigation users. Data collection involved the administration of questionnaire. The Logit regression model put to test seven determinants which are income, size of farm, decision making, labour, access to extension service and farming experience. Determinants that were found significant and positively influencing uptake of drip irrigation are farming experience, access to extension and labour. The following determinants were found insignificant to the uptake of drip irrigation; decision making, education, income and size of farm. The less farming experience a farmer has the more likely they are to adopt drip irrigation. Farmers with access to extension services and labor are more likely to adopt drip irrigation. In order to influence adoption and utilisation of drip irrigation it is recommended that, farmers, NGOs and government should engage in the following activities-farmer field schools and support of government extension workers. When NGOs and extension workers distribute drip kits they should assess if the farmer has access to labor for the drip irrigation or recommend alternatives to the manual systems for filling up the drip tanks. Retailers of drip kits can also provide advisory and extension services to ensure increased uptake of the drip irrigation.
Date of publication:
RUFORUM Working document series