Risk and Sustainable Crop Intensification: The Case of Smallholder Rice and Potato Farmers in Uganda

36 Pages Posted: 27 Jul 2016

See all articles by Bjorn Van Campenhout

Bjorn Van Campenhout

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Emmanuel Bizimungu

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Dorothy Birungi

Makerere University

Date Written: April 15, 2016

Abstract

To feed a growing and increasingly urbanized population, Uganda needs to increase crop production without further exhausting available resources. Therefore, smallholder farmers are encouraged to adopt sustainable crop intensification methods such as inorganic fertilizer or hybrid seeds. However, these farmers perceive these new technologies as risky hence adoption will depend on how well they can manage this additional risk. This paper documents patterns observed in socioeconomic data that suggest risk is an important barrier to sustainable crop intensification practices among Ugandan smallholder rice and potato farmers. In particular, we find that households that engage in risk management strategies, such as investing in risk-reducing technology or engaging in precautionary savings, are more likely to practice intensified cropping. However, our data also show only limited yield risk associated with the use of fertilizers or pesticides, suggesting part of the problem is related to perception. We also discuss the consequences for policy.

Keywords: risk, fertilizer, pesticides, Uganda

JEL Classification: O13, O33

Suggested Citation

Van Campenhout, Bjorn and Bizimungu, Emmanuel and Birungi, Dorothy, Risk and Sustainable Crop Intensification: The Case of Smallholder Rice and Potato Farmers in Uganda (April 15, 2016). IFPRI Discussion Paper 1521, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2814667

Bjorn Van Campenhout (Contact Author)

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

1201 Eye St, NW,
Washington, DC 20005
United States

Emmanuel Bizimungu

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

2033 K Street, NW
Washington, DC 20006
United States

Dorothy Birungi

Makerere University ( email )

P.O Box 7062
P.O BOX 7062
Kampala, CENTRAL 256
Uganda

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