Impact assessment of sorghum research and technology dissemination in eastern Uganda

The government of Uganda has been funding sorghum research and technology dissemination for over two decades. In Eastern Uganda priority research agenda for sorghum in the said last decades has been development of improved crop varieties to increase productivity. However, there has been no clear information on whether this research objective has been achieved and the extent to which this objective was satisfying farmers’ needs. Generally, there is limited quantitative information to assess whether agricultural research investments have generated sufficient development impact to justify continued investments. This study aimed at assessing the impact of improved sorghum varieties on farmers’ welfare in Eastern Uganda. The specific objectives were; to estimate returns to research of improved sorghum varieties, to evaluate the effect of sorghum technology dissemination at farm household level and to examine the impact of the improved varieties on farmer’s income in Eastern Uganda. This study used secondary and primary data from key informant’s technology as well from 180 farmers. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, regression analyses and the economic surplus model. The investment in sorghum research yielded positive net present value (NPV) of 87,133,738.80 and internal rate of return (IRR) OF 62.28%. The very large NPV and IRR signify the magnitude of the benefits from the sorghum research program that yielded the improved varieties, Sekedo and Epurpur. The results of the hypotheses tested indicated that the benefits from research and technology dissemination investment are statistically significant at the 5% level. Similarly, production of improved sorghum varieties had a significant positive contribution to total farm income at the 1% level. In addition, the contribution of the improved sorghum varieties towards food-self-sufficiency was also positive and statistically significant at the 5% level. Thus, the effect of improved varieties on the farmers’ welfare in Eastern Uganda is positive in that it has led to both increased food self-sufficiency and increased farmers’ incomes. The results of this study have provided a framework for understand constraints to increased adoption of improved sorghum varieties and therefore realization of increased farm incomes from sorghum, and identified gaps as well as success of current efforts made by research. To increase research benefits to farmers there is need to improve technology dissemination from research to farmers through strengthening demand-driven technology dissemination. Farmers ‘groups and the national agriculture advisory service are identified as crucial stakes to be strengthened and therefore achieve the afore mentioned. Government intervention in the marketing of epurpur is crucial for sustainable farmer’s income in Eastern Uganda improvement. The government of Uganda should endeavor to develop an agricultural research system that can generate and disseminate technologies responsive to farmers’ needs and capacity to ensure a sustainable shift from subsistence sorghum to commercial sorghum production and rural development.
Date of publication: 
Region Focus: 
East Africa
RUFORUM Theses and Dissertations
Licence conditions: 
Open Access
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Prof. Bernard Bashaasha (Muk),
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