The Role of Social-Economic and Political Factors in Adoption of Tissue Culture Banana Technology Amongst Small Holder Farmers in Uganda. Case of Wakiso District
Author: WANYANA BARBRA
Supervisor: Marius Murongo Flarian
Banana (Musa spp) is an important starchy food and cash crop in Uganda with potential for food and livelihood security. However, it is under threat of reduced productivity and sustainability with the actual banana yields on small holder farms far less than the estimated potential yield. This is attributed to a number of biophysical and socio-economic factors. In order to revert this trend, the government introduced banana tissue culture technology as a measure of increasing productivity and sustainability of this important crop as well as draw farmers out of poverty but many have still rejected this technology and have reverted to land races. Hence, it remains unclear whether this shift is due to socio-economic factors as affected by the politics of the time or as a result of other factors. A survey was conducted amongst small holder farmers in Wakiso District, Central Uganda to determine the drivers of socio-economic factors influencing tissue culture banana technology adoption, examine the role of socio-economic factors in tissue culture banana production and to establish the influence of agro-related policies in tissue culture banana technology adoption. 115 farmers who had adopted tissue culture banana technology under various government programs were randomly selected and interviewed between February 2018 to May 2018. The data obtained was analyzed using SPSS software (Ver.16.0).
Results from the study revealed that the drivers of the socio-economic factors influencing tissue culture banana adoption were respondentsí main occupation (P = 0.028), market accessibility (P = 0.006) and proximity to source of planting materials (P = 0.000). Access to extension services were great motivators to enhanced adoption of tissue culture banana (R2 = 0.539) while accessibility to free tissue culture plantlets contributed 25.6% in the adoption (R2 = 0.256). Age and mode of land acquisition were significant contributors to tissue culture banana yield (P<0.05). In regard to influence of agro-related policies in tissue culture banana adoption, the findings showed that 72.2% of the respondents were aware of Plan for Modernization of Agriculture policy,4.3 % were aware of National Agricultural Policy, 11.3% were aware of National Development Plan while 2.6% were aware of the Agricultural sector development strategy and investment plan. However, further analysis revealed weak negative correlations for awareness of PMA (r = -0.17), NDP (r = -0.10) and NAP (r = -0.109) polices and adoption of banana tissue culture and a weak positive correlation for DSIP (r = 0.148). A chi-square test showed that awareness of agro-related policies was equally insignificant in adoption of tissue culture banana.
The study recommended increasing access to extension services, developing distribution centers for tissue culture plantlets at District level and equipping farmers with knowledge on agro-related policies.