Dissemination of Soil Fertility Management Technologies for Improved Livelihoods by Farmer Groups in Pallisa District, Uganda
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The research assessed the dissemination of soil fertility management technologies for improved livelihoods by farmer groups in Pallisa district, Uganda. It was also investigating the role of farmer groups in dissemination of new soil fertility management technologies, factors affecting the dissemination, challenges the farmers meet in uptake and generally the best solutions to the difficulties in use of soil technologies. The study was carried out in Butabo and Opwateta Subcounties in Pallisa district, Eastern Uganda. The district is generally environmentally degraded with sandy and sandy loams of medium to low productivity and there is rapid population increase. The study adopted cross-sectional research design which included survey of household farmers and other community members. A total of 100 respondents were simple random and systematic sampled for quantitative results where gender was highly considered. The study also included 38 respondents were purposively selected for qualitative findings, whereby 20 group leaders, 10 Extension workers and 08 local leaders were selected as key informants and five Focus Group Discussions. The research findings revealed that the greater involvement of farmers in farmer groups encourage the dissemination and adoption of soil fertility technologies. The results indicated that, farmers who are in farmer groups have high chances to disseminate and adopt Soil Fertility Management Technologies (SFMTs) than those who are not members for improved productivity and livelihoods, because easily share the knowledge and resources. The study findings indicated that, the dissemination and adoption of SFMTs for improved productivity by farmers in Pallisa district is not affected by size of farmer’s land holdings, but rather rural communities prefer local practices because they are cheap in terms of cost, apply and carry out by farmers than inorganic fertilizers that are expensive. The study findings further show that, a positive relationship between the farmer groups and wide spread adoption and utilization of new innovation (soil fertility management technologies) by all farmers in the district. In conclusion, farmer groups remain the most and suitable for farmers’ economic development. Ugandan farmers should therefore take into account and intervention in SFMTs practice to succeed food insecurity and rural poverty and government should empower farmers through incentives and infrastructure improvement in rural areas.