The paper is published as a New Journal Paper and can be downloaded here.
Abstract of the paper
A four-wave panel dataset for Central and Southern Malawi to examine use and use intensity of two integrated soil fertility management (ISFM) technologies – organic manure and maize-legume intercropping – among smallholder farmers and how exposure to dry spells influences their use.
Organic manure and maize-legume intercropping are not new technologies to Malawian smallholders, and our longitudinal data enable an improved understanding of how the technologies have been used for a period of close to 10 years. We test two related hypotheses in this paper: 1) exposure to early-season and late-season dry spells increases the likelihood of using organic manure; 2) exposure to early-season and late-season dry spells increases the likelihood of using maize-legume intercropping. Our results show for our Central and Southern Malawi sample households that maize-legume intercropping increased from 29% in 2006 to 75% in 2015 and use of organic manure increased from 30% to 54% over the same period.
Our results demonstrate that use and use intensity of organic manure and maize-legume intercropping are positively associated with exposure to early-season and late-season dry spells. The positive correlation of dry spells with use of ISFM technologies implies that farmers respond to occurrence and risks associated with dry spells and may perceive that such technologies help them to hedge against resulting production losses.