Smallholder cassava farmers in Uganda face many production and marketing challenges including limited access to markets, high transportation costs and low sales volumes for unprocessed fresh cassava. In order to overcome these limitations, the panacea seems to be in cassava processing and value addition. This study sought to: (i) characterize smallholder processors of cassava products, (ii) compare the profitability levels of gari a new cassava product, flour and chips and (iii) determine the factors that influence the smallholder processors’ decisions to participate in marketing of processed cassava products in north and north eastern Uganda. Data were collected from 185 randomly selected smallholder cassava farmers in the districts of Gulu, Lira, Kaberamaido and Soroti. Data were analyzed using SPSS and STATA Statistical packages; t-test and chi-square tests were used to compare and determine if there were significant differences between categories. The Heckman two stage model was used to assess the decisions of the respondents to participate in marketing of processed cassava products. Gross margins were generated using Excel to compare the profitability levels of the different processed cassava products. The results revealed that there was a significant difference between processors of gari and cassava chips and non-processors in terms of age (P ≤0.01), annual incomes (P≤ 0.05) and family size (P≤0.05). The gross margin analyses indicated that the mean gross margin per month for gari, flour and chips were UGX1,050,198, UGX2,0217,760 and UGX1,377,649 respectively. The results further revealed that gari had a higher average return to cost at 164%, compared to flour at 102% and chips at 118% respectively. The Heckman two stage model showed that female processors allocated large land sizes for cassava production (P≤0.1) and obtained more sales revenue from flour at (P≤0.05) than their male counterparts. The study recommends that cassava farmers should engage in cassava value addition and cassava processing in the form of flour, gari and chips since they fetch higher returns. To ensure that more women gainfully participate in the cassava value chain, it’s important to encourage them to engage more in those cassava value chain segments where value addition is possible and more rewarding.
Date of publication:
RUFORUM Theses and Dissertations
RUFORUM (Grant no. RU/2014/GRG-098)
Basil Mugonola, Duncan Ongeng