After the droughts of the 1970s, the so called zaï technique (small water harvesting pits), which is a water harvesting technique, has been promoted to farmers in several Sahelian countries to allow rainfed crops to adapt to dry spells. Its temporal diffusion remains a subject of little research. This study highlights the determinants of zaï diffusion in the Sahelian and Sudano-Sahelian zones in Burkina Faso. It is based on a survey of 629 farmers divided into different categories according to the diffusion theory analyzed by using a multinomial logit model. The analysis reveals that 49.1% of sampled households have adopted the practice of zaï in the past four decades on a fraction of their farm. The adopters can be classified as such: innovators (0.5%), early adopters (2.5%), late adopters (8.3%) and laggards (37.8%). Factors determining diffusion of zaï practice are the characteristics of agro-climatic zones, membership in farmers’ organization and age of households’ heads.
Keywords: agriculture, adoption, spread, rainwater, zaï.