Effect of agricultural inputs and extension services on household crop production in Uganda
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This study was based on results from the Agricultural Module of the Uganda National Household Survey (UNHS) 2005/06 by Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS). The main objective of this study was to establish the effect of agricultural inputs and extension services on household crop production in Uganda. Banana (food-type) and maize were investigated as two (2) of the five major crops in the Country (UBOS Agricultural Surveys, 1999-2004). The study involved 1,867 and 2,233 households growing banana (food-type) and maize respectively. It should be noted that though it was a crop by crop consideration, some households grew both crops. A Multiple linear regression model (Meta production function) was used to establish the study’s main and specific objectives. All the continuous variables were discovered not to be normally distributed and they were transformed by taking their natural logarithm. From the study, the average banana (food-type) and maize production were 759.5 and 392 kg/acre respectively. The average area under banana (food-type) and maize were also estimated to be 1.5 and 1.6 acres respectively. The study also revealed that, from the banana (food-type) growing households, 24.2 percent had a member who had participated in a NAADS Training program, 30.9 percent changed practice with respect to agricultural technology and 12.0 percent had been visited by an extension worker in the last 12 months” respectively. Household crop production in general and Banana (food-type) production in particular highly gained from farmers’ proper application of both agricultural inputs and extension services, hired labour (in terms of labour days) on the plots reduced household crop production but this was however not significant, household agricultural investment in terms of purchases of inputs such as seeds, fertilizers, manure and pesticides on plots increased household crop production. Similarly, household crop production gained highly from household member participation in NAADS training and use of child household member for labour on the crop plot. The sex of the head of households (who most times take decisions on management of agricultural enterprises) had an effect on household crop production in that Male headed agricultural households realized a boost in crop production than those of their female counterparts. Access and use of the above inputs and extension services is vital in boosting household crop production. The government through the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MFPED) should avail financial resources to the public and private sectors through the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) and it departments to implement an efficient agricultural inputs (fertilizer/manure) awareness system, which will benefit farmers by teaching them the effective application and economics of fertilizer/manure use. Government though Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Developments (MGLSD) should continue to strengthen women emancipation strategies especially for women farmers to support them in areas like acquisition of low interest agricultural loans to enhance their household crop production. This will help increase production for female headed agricultural households in the country since women even provide more labour days on the plot than their male counterparts. The National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) should be strengthened so that it quickly rolls out to all districts of the country for effective provision of demand driven extension services.