Socioeconomic Factors Influencing Uptake of Coffee Production Recommended Practices in Kichwamba and Kirugu Sub-Counties Rubirizi District, Uganda
The study was on socioeconomic factors influencing the uptake of coffee production recommended practices in the Kichwamba and Kirugu Sub-counties of the Rubirizi district and was conducted in February 2021. Objectives were to identify the coffee production systems and practices used, identify the socioeconomic challenges associated with the uptake of recommended practices for coffee production, and identify the policy interventions to address the challenges associated with the use of recommended coffee practices. Farmers continue to register low coffee yields hence affecting their livelihoods and incomes and achieving maximum coffee production requires that farmers apply recommended practices since the quantity and quality of the crop rely on the practices used. A cross-sectional survey was conducted using simple random sampling and a total of 376 coffee farmers were sampled. Results indicated that Arabica coffee commonly grown has two major systems intercropping and mono-cropping. The coffee-recommended practices used were weeds control (23.7%), shading (21.5%), pruning (15.5%), fertiliser application (14.1%), pest and disease management (12.2%), water drainage management (6.6%), transplanting (4.0%), and seedbed preparation (2.7%). Statistically significant socioeconomic factors affecting the uptake of recommended practices for coffee were age [p=0.014], education level [p=0.002], labour [p=0.005], Farm size [p=0.001], farming experience [p=0.031], gender [p=0.031], land slope [p=0.048], un-accessibility to credit services [p=0.032], and plot ownership [p=0.049]. Policy interventions were farmer capacity building (35.1%), strengthening agricultural extension (23.7%), credit extension to the farmers (15.7%), re-visiting land reform policies (13.6%), and group formation (11.9%). The study concluded that coffee in the study area was grown under two production systems; intercropping and mono-cropping; the major coffee recommended practices used were; seedbed management, transplanting, pruning, shading, fertiliser application, weeds control, pest and disease management, and water drainage management. Socioeconomic factors like Education level, shortage of labour, farm size, experience in farming, gender, the slope of the land, un-accessibility of credit services, farmer age and plot ownership type were significant socioeconomic factors affecting uptake of recommended practices. Suggested policy interventions were re-visiting land reform policies, credit extension, capacity building, strengthening agricultural extension, and farmer group formation. More education and training for farmers, revisiting land policies, groups, associations and cooperative formation, and credit services extension are recommended.
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