The effect of malaria on agricultural production in Uganda
Aheisibwe, Ambrose Rwaheru
MetadataShow full item record
Uganda’s agriculture is largely labor-intensive employing over 73 percent of the total population in the country. It is therefore apparent that any factor that affects availability of labor impacts on agricultural crop production. Although malaria is known to compromise labor availability through affecting the number of days worked, no attempts have been made to explicitly determine and quantify the effect of malaria illnesses on household agricultural output. This study set out to investigate the effect of malaria on agricultural crop production in Uganda. A sample of 5,268 households drawn from the Uganda National Household Survey 2005/06 data was considered. The data were analyzed using Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) method in estimating the effect of malaria on agricultural crop production. The study revealed that agricultural crop production of the households that were negatively affected by malaria illness had 23.7 percent less agricultural output than those who did not report any malaria incidence. The findings indicated that the loss in household agricultural crop production as a result of malaria illness was 71.62 kilograms due to occurrence of malaria incidence and 110.94 kilograms when number of days lost to malaria illness was considered. Malaria’s effect on agricultural crop production was attributed to its effect on agricultural labour availability at household level. The study found out that a 1 percent increase in the number of days lost due to malaria resulted into a 0.153 percent reduction in agricultural production. Based on the findings, this study recommends integration of malaria control interventions messages in agricultural extension agenda to reduce the number of days lost due to malaria illness. This study further recommends that mechanisms aimed at facilitating early detection of malaria as well as rapid and effective treatment, not only to lower the cost of treatment but also to reduce the number of workdays be sought for and availed to crop farmers in Uganda.