Inderscience Publishers

Adoption, utilisation and economic impacts of improved post-harvest technologies in maize production in Kapchorwa District, Uganda

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High post-harvest losses, poor quality and lack of value addition at the farm level constrain maize production in Uganda. Concern over these issues prompted the government to introduce improved post-harvest technologies to reduce losses. However, there remain a huge number of farmers still using local post-harvest methods. Farmers are unlikely to accept new technologies unless the perceived benefits can be shown to exceed the likely costs involved. This paper combines cost-benefit analysis (CBA) with a socio-economic model of the factors that influence utilisation of improved post-harvest technologies. Results indicate that the use of improved maize sheller and crib reduced post-harvest losses and labour, and improved grain quality, which commanded a better market price. The CBA returned a benefit-cost ratio (BCR) of between 4.3 and 5.5 for the improved sheller and crib, respectively, indicating that the benefits of technology use far exceed the costs involved. This indicates that adopting both the improved sheller and crib represents a good investment for the farmers compared to non-adoption. Using a censored Tobit model and controlling for technology adoption through grants, we found that availability of household resources, farm size, education, training and extension, credit and accessibility of markets significantly influenced technology utilisation.

Keywords: postharvest technology, losses, labour, cost-benefit analysis, CBA, smallholders, technology impacts, Uganda, maize production, new technologies, socio-economic modelling, grain quality, technology utilisation, technology adoption

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