Determinants of productivity of Irish Potatoes among small holder farmers in South Western Uganda : an ordinal logistic regression approach
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Irish Potato production per unit area among smallholder farmers in Uganda remains low standing at 4.7 t/ha on average nationally despite the favourable climate (UBOS). This national average on smallholder farms is far below the potential productivity, which is over 25 t/ha on Ugandan research plots. Despite this large difference, there is no sufficient literature informing the underlying causes of the difference in the smallholder farmer yield in Uganda and the plots at research stations. The study aimed at establishing determinants of productivity of Irish potatoes among smallholder farmers in South Western Uganda. The study utilized secondary data sourced from the Policy Action for Sustainable Intensification of Ugandan Cropping Systems (PASIC) under the Ministry of Agriculture. The study utilized the Ordered logistic regression model and data was analysed using STATA 13. Results revealed that farmer characteristics including age and education level of a farmer had a significant effect on productivity level. Older farmers were more likely to have low production per unit area. The odds of reporting high productivity were 6 times greater for farmers who had adopted extension service technologies in comparison with their counterparts. Good agronomic practices including crop rotation, proper seed spacing and weeding within the first four weeks increased a farmer’s odds by 2.7 times, 1.6 times and 2.8 times respectively of having high production per unit area. Planting of good quality seed increased a farmer’s chance of belonging to the high productivity group by 6.3 times for farmers who planted improved varieties. The study estimated 80% of the farmers to lie in the low productivity category which is very high. Therefore, the government through MAAIF is recommended to design appropriate interventions especially strengthening of the extension programme through reducing extension worker to farmer ratio and establishing demonstration gardens at parish level which will increase the uptake of improved inputs and application of good agronomic practices.