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close this bookGender and the Expansion of non-traditional Agricultural Exports in Uganda (UNRISD, 2000, 66 p.)
close this folder6. Gender and NTAE Promotion: Findings from the Field Studies
View the document(introduction...)
View the document6.1 Village Characteristics
View the document6.2 Supply Response
View the document6.3 Labour Constraints
View the document6.4 Other Constraints on Production
View the document6.5 Control and Expenditure of Cash Crop Income

6.4 Other Constraints on Production

Marketing

Problems with the market for agricultural products in Uganda - low farmgate prices resulting from high transportation costs, high spoilage rates and limited competition among buyers - were discussed above (section 4.1, table 4). The survey and PRA findings confirmed a generally low level of confidence in market functioning in the survey villages and a perception that farmgate prices were too low (tables 13 and 14). Tables 20 and 21 show that many households are unable to transport their crops to market, rather they wait for buyers to reach them and are thus forced to accept the price offered in the monopsonistic market. Poor feeder roads have been identified as one reason for these market imperfections, and the government has developed programmes meant to improve them. Increasing household access to means of transportation, including bicycles and carts, would be an important complement to this initiative. Household access to transportation would improve access to markets and thus increase competition among buyers; it would at the same time ease women’s labour burdens by making fuelwood and water more accessible. It is interesting to note that in a survey in Arua district, the tractors meant to assist in ploughing were in fact used for transportation (Uganda Women’s Network, 1995) - an indication of the extent of the transportation deficit in the rural sector.

Lack of credit

Lack of credit has been identified as a problem to be addressed by government programmes, and there are several credit schemes currently in place to channel more credit to smallholders. Improved access to credit is meant to enable households to improve productivity through the purchase of additional inputs and labour, and to smooth out the peaks and troughs in food prices. The survey results confirm that male smallholders would welcome the opportunity to access credit. However, women show much less interest in obtaining credit, and in fact obtain much less. As discussed above, women’s role in staple food provisioning requires them to behave in a more risk-averse manner than do men. Men’s focus on cash cropping and their reliance on women for daily food needs allow them to accept the higher degree of risk associated with credit. At the same time, women will need more access to cash if they are to purchase the labour inputs they clearly need. Improved food security through better storage and higher productivity will make credit an option for more women; in the meantime, enhanced savings schemes might be an alternative to credit for women.

Limited inputs

The survey results indicated that the use of better agricultural inputs was extremely low in the survey villages (table 36). The participants cited lack of extension services, lack of knowledge, lack of access, and lack of cash as reasons for the low level of agricultural technology employed. It will obviously take a concerted effort on many fronts to break out of this low input-low output equilibrium. A failure to do so will mean that any positive supply response to NTAE incentives will be unlikely to represent an increase in total productivity, but will rather be likely to result from crop switching.

Table 36
Use of agricultural inputs


Gonve (n = 197)

Kitanyatta (n = 199)


Number of households

% of households

Number of households

% of households

Fertilizer

19

10

1

1

Manure

55

28

16

8

Insecticide

23

12

7

4

Improved seed

13

7

20

10

Hired tractor

4

2

7

4

Other

23

12

3

15