Factors Influencing the Use of Food Storage Structures by Agrarian Communities in Northern Uganda
Keywords:Food Losses, Improved Storage Structures, Postharvest Losses, Agrarian, Households, Poverty, Smallholder, Northern Uganda
Food storage at the national or global level is important due to its multifunctional roles of enhancing food access, nutrition, and income security at the national, community and household levels. This study assesses the importance of food storage structures and their utilization by farmers cultivating finger millet (Eleusine coracana) and common beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) in Apac and Arua districts, Northern Uganda. The study encompassed a total sample of 782 households producing finger millet and/or beans (388 of which were below and 394 above the poverty line). A binary probit regression analysis was used to identify the factors influencing the household use of improved storage structures.
The findings indicated that only 22% of households used improved storage structures and that usage depended on the age of the household head, education level of the household head, membership in a farmer group or association, family size, and distance to market. The findings also indicate that the postharvest policies of the past did not have any significant effect on household access to improved storage technologies in the study areas. It is generally agreed that usage of improved storage structures leads such benefits as postharvest losses reduction, product quality conservation and increased duration of storage (World Food Programme [WFP], 2015). Thus we suggest that strategies to improve the usage of improved storage structures may be organizing agrarian communities and reaching them with carefully developed postharvest programs. This action could lead to higher usage rates of these technologies in this region.
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