Determinants of smallholder farmers’ decision to invest and to intensify investment in seed potato production in south western Uganda

Sylvia Nabasumba, Margaret M. Najjingo, Johnny Mugisha, Pamela N. Pali, Florence B. Kyazze, Prossy Isubikalu


Whereas several national and international efforts to increase seed potato production have been promoted in Uganda in the last decade, few farmers are participating in seed potato production despite the higher return on investment in seed potato production. Existing studies relate farmers' low investment to economic reasoning and as such limited empirical evidence exists on the importance of socio-psychological factors in influencing potato farmers’ decisions and level of investment in seed potato production. This paper utilizes data from a cross-sectional study of 227 randomly selected potato farmers drawn from the Kabale and Kanungu districts of southwestern Uganda, to analyse the empirical determinants of farmers’ decision to invest and their level of investment in seed potato production. The findings reveal that only 44% had invested in seed potato production. Further, the results revealed that institutional factors largely influenced farmers’ decision to invest while socio–economic factors significantly influenced farmers’ level of investment level in seed potato production. Similarly, psychological factors affected both the decision and level of investment in seed potato production. We conclude that investing in seed potato production is an individual farmer’s encounter enhanced by a supportive cognitive environment accompanied by soft and hard production assets affluence. So, promotion programs and policies on seed potato production should focus on enrolling resource-able farmers and enhancing their capacity through training via peer learning strategies. This study contributes to the body of knowledge by incorporating psychological factors in modelling farmers’ decisions and level of investment in seed potato production. Thus, the study recommends the utility of socio-psychological theories in studies investigating investment behaviour in the context of the smallholder farmer to be intensified. 


East Africa; Double hurdle model; Investment behavior; Socio- psychological factors; Seed potato production; Smallholder farmers.


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DOI: 10.33687/ijae.011.002.4717


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