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Botswana University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (BUANR) 2019

An assessment of socio-economic potential of conservation agriculture and prediction of its future performance using the DSSAT model for the Pandamatenga vertisols in northern Botswana

Kandondi, Kapweke

Titre : An assessment of socio-economic potential of conservation agriculture and prediction of its future performance using the DSSAT model for the Pandamatenga vertisols in northern Botswana

Auteur : Kandondi, Kapweke

Université de soutenance : Botswana University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (BUANR)

Grade : Master of Science in Agricultural Engineering 2019

Résumé partiel
This study was based in the Chobe District in Pandamatenga village in the northern region of Botswana. The main aim of the study was to assess the socio - economic potential of Conservation Agriculture (CA) technologies and to predict their future performance on sorghum grain yield using the Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer (DSSAT) in the vertisols of Pandamatenga. A field experiment was conducted at the Department of Agricultural Research station at Pandamatenga during the 2015-2017 planting seasons. A randomized complete block design was used for the on-station field experimentation. The design had trial plots with four treatments, namely No tillage (NT), No tillage + mulch (NT+M), Minimum tillage (MT), and broad bed and furrow (BBF), with four replicates rotated between sorghum and cowpea. Sorghum grain yield results were analysed using the Statistical Analysis Software (SAS version 9.2). Analysis of variance and means were separated using Duncan’s multiple range test at 5% confidence level. The DSSAT model was also evaluated using the experimental data and weather data for the growing period. The model was further used to predict the performance of these CA technologies in terms of sorghum grain yield in the future. A structured questionnaire was used for the collection of the socio - economic and demographic characteristics of the sampled smallholder rainfed farmers. Fanners’ perception and level of acceptance of CA technologies were also assessed in the study area. The socio - economic characteristics of the smallholder rainfed farmers included land holding size (hn), labour availability, livestock possession, education level, and farming experience. Demographic characteristics considered in this study were smallholder rainfed farmers’ age, marital status, gender and average number of family members in the household. Descriptive statistics (means, percentages) from Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) Version 22 (IBM Corp, 2013) were used for data analysis of socio - economic and demographic characteristics of smallholder rainfed farmers.

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