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African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development

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Use of improved inputs and its effect on maize yield and profit in Uganda

G Okoboi, J Muwanga, T Mwebaze

Abstract


Maize is an important crop, produced by nearly all households in Uganda. Yet, the yield of the crop is low, mainly blamed on low use of improved technologies. In a bid to understand why farmers are reluctant to adopt modern agricultural technologies, which are hailed for enhancing productivity, this study assessed the effect of improved inputs use on maize yield and profit in Uganda. The analysis was based on the Uganda National Household Survey data of 2005/06. A graphical analysis was
used to assess the yield and profit outcomes associated with use of improved seed and fertiliser. Stochastic production functions of yield and profit were estimated to assess the effect of use of improved inputs on yield and profit. Graphical results indicated that maize producers who applied fertiliser on improved seed obtained the highest yield but lower gross profit margin while farmers who never applied fertiliser on improved seed obtained lower yield but the highest gross profit margin. Regression
results indicated that higher expenditure on fertiliser and traction per hectare had a significant (p<0.05) positive effect on yield. No significant effect on gross profit margin was however observed in the case of higher expenditure on fertiliser and traction per hectare in maize production. Results indicate that whereas expansion in area cultivated had a significantly (p<0.01) negative effect on yield, it was the most important (p<0.01) means of increasing profit. Education level and access to
extension services are key farmer characteristics that were found to have a
significantly (p<0.01) positive influence on the profit and yet no remarkable influence on yield. Notable was that maize producers that were members in the government extension agency, National Agricultural Advisory Services organization, (NAADS) had lower yield than farmers not in NAADS. These results suggest that NAADS and other agencies that are involved in promoting use of modern agricultural technologies in Uganda have an uphill task of proving and hence persuading farmers that use of
these technologies not only enhances yield but also increases farm profits.



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