Production Determinants of the Pearl Millet Cropping System in Uganda and Implications to Productivity

  •  G. Lubadde    
  •  P. Tongoona    
  •  J. Derera    
  •  J. Sibiya    


Pearl millet is an important crop for people living in semi-arid areas in Uganda but not much is known about its production environment. A survey was conducted in eastern and northern regions of Uganda to characterise the pearl millet cropping system and to identify the most important production determinants. Using questionnaires, data was collected from 160 households through face-to-face interviews with the respondents. Results showed that pearl millet was mainly grown for food and source of income. The production environment was low input as farmers planted unimproved genotypes, used no artificial chemicals or manure, and had minimal access to financial credit and agricultural trainings or extension services. Planting was done in the second rains with no optimal use of important resources like family labour and seed due to seed broadcasting. Farmers desired genotypes with traits such as; stay green, being tall, high tillering, high yield, early maturity and being ergot resistant. The most important constraints were ergot and rust diseases susceptibility, low yield, low tillering, late maturity, sterile panicles, rodents, moulds/rotting and insect pests; while lack of market, low prices and price fluctuation were the important market constraints. Results further showed that farmers lacked knowledge about the common diseases like rust and ergot. The area planted, spouse age and years of pearl millet cultivation were the important factors enhancing production while age of household head, amount of seed planted and distance to the market negatively affected grain yield.

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