The role of farmers' groups and their selected factors in the adoption of improved longe 5 maize variety in Adjumani District, Uganda
Vundru, Wilfred Iramaku
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Adopting improved production technologies for increased productivity, income and food security has been emphasized as a feasible strategy for poverty alleviation in Uganda. For many years improved production technologies have been promoted by development organizations such as the Danish Assistance to Self Reliance Strategy (DASS Project) in Adjumani District with limited success in terms of their adoption by farmers. Experience, has shown that farmers’ groups play a role in technology adoption. The study thus sought to understand the role of farmers’ groups and other selected factors in the adoption of improved Longe 5 maize variety introduced by DASS project to members of farmers’ groups. The study sought to determine farmers’ perception about their levels of social interaction, establish the levels of adoption of improved Longe 5 maize variety by farmers’ groups, determine farmers’ perception of Longe 5 maize variety; and establish the extent to which social interaction affects adoption of improved Longe 5 maize variety. The study applied a cross-sectional comparative approach which was aimed at establishing the role of farmers’ groups and other selected factors in adoption of Longe 5 maize variety. Data were collected, mainly through face to face interviews, from a total of 144 respondents, split evenly between members and non-members of farmers’ groups. In addition, ten focus group discussions were conducted with group leaders and field extension workers. Quantitative data analysis included descriptive and bivariate analysis using percentages, and means. Logit regression was used to determine the social interaction factors determining adoption of Longe 5 maize variety. The study findings indicate that members of farmers’ groups had higher levels of social interaction as indicated by information sharing, cooperation, participation in community activities, extent of trust and unity among people. Farmers who participated in groups were more aware of Longe 5 maize variety and were the majority in adopting it. This led to higher levels of adoption among the members of farmers’ groups on the Longe 5 maize variety compared to non-members. The logit regression analysis showed that contact with the extension workers, group membership, average information sharing, cooperation and formal level of education are associated with adoption of Longe 5 maize variety at different levels of significance. Therefore, efforts to reduce conflict among farmers and enhancing information sharing would increase adoption of the technology. Against this background group leaders and practitioners are advised to strengthen of farmers’ groups in order to enhance the adoption of improved Longe 5 maize variety. Special attention should be paid to the provision of extension services among the non-members. To this end, both the leaders and change agents should ensure that field extension workers are adequately facilitated to have regular contacts with non- group members. Practitioners should also ensure that balanced agricultural enterprise development policies are in place to avoid concentrating on few farm enterprises.