Assessing farmer involvement in collective action for enhancing the sorghum value chain in Soroti, Uganda
Farmer associations have been widely promoted in Uganda to bridge institutional gaps among smallholder farmers, however, their role in the sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) value chain and factors influencing membership to these associations have not been well documented. This study was conducted to assess the role of these farmer associations and socio-economic factors influencing membership. A survey questionnaire was administered to a randomly selected sample of 120 sorghum farmers in six sub-counties of Soroti, Uganda, where associations are established. A binomial logit regression model was employed to ascertain socio-economic factors that influenced membership to farmer associations. Results showed that 65% of respondents belonged to a farmer association. Regarding benefits of farmer associations, 55.8% of the respondents received training in sorghum agronomy, 39.2% were trained on postharvest management, 35% engaged in collective marketing, 43.3% received credit and 3.3% processed sorghum as part of value addition for increased income. Gender and extension contacts significantly (P<0.05) influenced membership to farmer associations. Even with adequate resources (human and financial), the most critical factors in the process of building functional farmer associations is gender and extension contacts.
Keywords: Collective action, farmer associations, sorghum, value chain, socio-economic factors, extension