SOCIO-ECONIMIC CHALLENGES AFFECTING AGRICULTURAL MODERNIZATION IN UGANDA: A CASE STUDY OF RWANYAMAHEMBE SUB-COUNTY, KASHARI COUNTY, MBARARA DISTRICT.
NDYAHIKAHO, GODFREY TUMUSIIME
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This study set out to examine the socio-economic challenges affecting agricultural modernization in Rwanyamahembe Sub-county, Kashari County, Mbarara District. The problem was that despite various attempts by the Ugandan government to modernize agriculture in rural areas, there has been little progress in achieving agricultural modernization (African Development Fund 2000). The study was guided by four specific objectives namely; to find out the role of education of farmers; to examine the contribution of land availability to farmers; to establish the effect of infrastructure and to analyze the effect of market availability to farmers, all in relation to agricultural modernization in Rwanyamahembe Sub-county. A case study research design was adopted. A sample of 140 farmers was drawn from 223 registered farmers disaggregated in five farmer groups in the five Parishes of Rwanyamahembe Sub-county and were interviewed using a Questionnaire. Ten Key informants were interviewed using an Interview Guide and a Digital Voice Recorder. The results were analyzed using descriptive statistics in form of frequencies and percentages on the basis of cross tabulations generated using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). Qualitative data obtained from Key Informants’ interviews was summarized and used to explain and back up Quantitative Findings. The study found out that, the level of education of farmers, land availability, infrastructure status and availability of market all significantly affect agricultural modernization. The study concluded that in order to achieve agricultural modernization, farmers’ education, land availability, infrastructure status and market availability must be addressed. The study recommended that the Government of Uganda strengthens policies towards improvement of farmer’s education, availability of land, infrastructure status and market availability. The research also recommended that local authorities intensify agricultural extension services and that farmers be encouraged to form cooperative societies for collective marketing and value addition. Further research could be carried out to establish the underlying factors responsible for the very low use of modern farm tools and reluctance by farmers to adopt new technologies.