Effect of Market Access on Farmer Enterprenuership Growth in Uganda: The case of Uganda Cranes Creameries Cooperative Union (UCCCU)
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Markets play a critical role in sustaining the livelihoods of both urban and rural communities, whether wealthy or poor. As producers, these households purchase their inputs from the markets and later sell their products into the same markets. As consumers, the earned income from the selling of agricultural products or from their non-farming activities is spent in markets to obtain their food needs and other utilities. This study primarily sought to examine the effect of Market Access on Farmer Entrepreneurship growth in Uganda, using Uganda Crane Creameries Cooperative Union, Mbarara Branch as a case study. The study objectives were; to examine the contribution of Market Information on the growth of Farmer Entrepreneurship in Uganda Crane Creameries Cooperative Union; to establish the contribution of Market linkages on the growth of Farmer Entrepreneurship in Uganda Crane Creameries Cooperative Union and to establish contribution of Input and Output Markets on the growth of Farmer Entrepreneurship in Uganda Crane Creameries Cooperative Union. The study employed a cross sectional study design combining both quantitative and qualitative methods to data collection with a sample size of 317 derived using Morgan and Krejcie (1970). Data collected was exported to SPSS version 20 for editing, coding to facilitate informative and relevant computation. Results showed that majority of the farmers were male (82%), aged 40 years and above (91%), married (60%), with primary level education (36%), and have household size of 6 people (64%). The objectives of the study were analyzed using the Factor Analysis. For objective one, results showed that market information was significantly correlated with Farmer Entrepreneurship growth with 0.002 which is below 0.05 with coefficient of 0.605. For objective two, Market Linkages was significantly correlated with Farmer Entrepreneurship growth with 0.001 which is below 0.05 with a coefficient 0.710 while for objective three; input and output markets was significantly correlated with Farmer Entrepreneurship growth with 0.009 which is below 0.05 with a coefficient of 0.501. The study concludes that, Market information, market linkages and input and output markets are paramount variables in influencing the growth of farmer entrepreneurship in Mbarara district in Uganda. The study recommends that UCCCU urgently completes the long waited milk processing plant to enhance farmer entrepreneurship, draws out outreach plans to bring all dairy farmers under the union, researches and avails farmers with up to date information, links with other value chain actors to ensure access of quality inputs by farmers in the cooperative union.