Soyabean (Glycine max) is a relatively new crop for small-scale farmers in Zambia which has been adopted following the introduction of new cultivars, greater opportunity to obtain credit, easier marketing and an attractive guaranteed price. However, low yields limit production partly due to the lack of a planting method that establishes optimal populations. The present method is to plough and plant in the same operation, dribbling the seed behind the ox-plough. This often leads to uneven depth of planting, and hence to poor seedling emergence and erratic stands. Alternative planting techniques evaluated on farmers' fields for three seasons (1985/86–1987/88) suggest that farmers should replace their practice of planting behind the plough with either hand seeding following a plough–harrow operation or the use of a modified ox-drawn planter (Taparia).