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Many soil and water conservation technologies have been promoted and spread to encourage the sustainable use of resources by small-scale farmers, but soil degradation continues intensively. The objective of this study therefore, was to identify the measures of Soil and Water Conservation, the factors that inform the adoption and use Soil and Water Conservation measures and evaluate the limitations to realize and maintain of these conservation practices. This study was done in Yongdeng County which falls under the governance of the city-level prefecture of Lanzhou, the capital of Gansu Province. One hundred farmers were randomly selected. Primary data was obtained through interviews and group discussion with farmers, and agricultural extension workers and field survey. The results revealed that the level of education and farm size did not affect the use of SWC measures. Unlike formal education, membership of the group of farmers was significant and had positive correlation with SWC measures. SWC education and training was significant and had a positive impact on the use of SWC measures. The study found that SWC structures commonly used by farmers in the study area include terraces (30%), contour ploughing (20%) and the use of drains. The agronomic practices commonly used are agroforestry, crop rotation and the use of grass strips. Farmers identified poverty, ignorance and lack of technical advice as the main obstacles to realizing the full potential of soil and water conservation in the area. Poorly laid out soil conservation structures were also accelerating soil erosion. These results show that, in order to ensure adequate soil and water conservation, particular attention must be paid to institutional and economic factors. Also, to encourage farmers’ participation in education and extension training on SWC, it is vital to strengthen the relationship between extension workers and farmers.
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