Effects of Improved Cassava Varieties on Farmers’ Income in Northern Agro-ecological Zone, Uganda

  •  Graceline O. Akongo    
  •  Godfrey A. Otim    
  •  Laban F. Turyagyenda    
  •  Anton Bua    
  •  Alfred Komakech    
  •  S. Obong    


This paper examines the extent to which improved cassava varieties contribute to improvement in income of smallholder farmers in the Northern agro-ecological zone of Uganda. In order to achieve the objective, data was collected from PRELNOR supported farmers’ fields, other farmers’ fields and baseline cassava fields. Consequently, descriptive statistics, gross margin and stochastic frontier analysis were adopted during analysis. Results from the analysis revealed that higher yields per hectare were registered within PRELNOR supported farmers’ fields and yield from NAROCAS1 surpassed all the varieties (37.3 tons per hectare). Location specific results revealed that Gulu had better yields (34.5 tons per hectare) while Kitgum registered the lowest average (24.1 tons per hectare). Gross margin indicated that every Shilling invested in improved variety earned profit 1.3 to 1.8 times above the local variety and each shillings invested in PRELNOR supported fields generated 5.6 times above the baseline fields. The parameter estimate for profit function revealed that planting material, other production related costs, NAROCAS1, NASE14 and NASE19 were positively correlated with profit but labour and baseline field had negative correlations. Conversely, profit efficiency grew by 40% under improved varieties against local varieties. This study suggests that the difference in yields and profit between locations was caused by biophysical characteristic; disease tolerant varieties can tremendously improve profitability and income; meanwhile the profit gaps were partly attributed to inefficiency. This study recommends fast tracking adoption of pest and disease tolerant varieties and integrated research and development approach throughout the cassava value chain.

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