The Awareness and Adoption of Environmentally Sustainable Practices by Agricultural Cooperative Members in Zambia

As the world population is continuously growing, agricultural practices should be done sustainably to achieve food security, nutrition, and economic success. Due to the networking, economies of scale and improved access to information, collective actions and producers’ cooperatives seem to be a good instrument for acquiring, sharing and promoting such practices. Therefore, the main aim of this study was to estimate the effect of cooperative membership on the awareness and adoption of environmentally sustainable practices. We purposively selected 210 members and 166 non-members of maize cooperatives in the Southern province of Zambia. To cater for both observed and unobserved bias in the study, we adopted the propensity score matching and endogenous treatment effect models. The study results confirm that cooperative membership positively influences the awareness and adoption of sustainable environmental practices used in the study but encourages the usage of synthetic fertilizers because of the government input subsidy.