IFPRI-Kampala USSP weekly newsletter – week of Oct 1st, 2018

Hello, and welcome to a new edition of the IFPR-Kampala’s USSP news and research digest!

As usual, this collection of recent news articles related to agriculture is compiled from online news sources. We also include links to recent publications on agricultural and policy-related research topics pertinent to Uganda and the wider region.

This week, we report on how low knowledge on agriculture credit facilities affects commerical farming, and on Rooftop farming in Kampala. We also have news articles on the potential consequences for fairtrade of a no-deal Brexit and on how to be a more sustainable coffee drinker.

Under research reports, policy briefs and discussion papers, we link to the following documents:

Under research, we provide links to:

Note that newsletters are archived on http://ussp.ifpri.info/

Happy reading


Low knowledge on agriculture credit facilities affecting commercial farming

Farmers have failed to commercialise agriculture due to lack of knowledge on how to access credit facilities. Commercial agriculture continues to be a dream for many Ugandans because they lack knowledge on how to access agricultural funding sources such as the Agricultural Credit Facility, under the Bank of Uganda.

Uganda’s tea auction market might take longer to take off

Mr George Sekitoleko, the executive secretary Uganda Tea Association, says it is not feasible for Uganda to get a tea auction market because of the small volumes and poor quality produced.
“It is not feasible now because first, you have to have the volumes, high quality which we do not have,” he said. Uganda produces 61,629 metric tonnes of tea annually with 90 per cent of this exported through the Mombasa Tea Auction.

Saving gorillas ‘one sip at a time’
Conservation International

There are only 1,000 mountain gorillas in existence. About half of them call the lush setting of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park in southwestern Uganda home, relatively protected from poachers and encroaching development. For the past two decades, the gorillas — and the communities that live in the shadow of the park, relying on it for food and livelihoods — have had an unlikely ally: coffee.

Rooftop farming: why vertical gardening is blooming in Kampala
The Guardian

When Martin Agaba realised his urban farm had run out of space, he decided the solution was not to expand outwards but upwards. The urban farm is just one of many springing up in and around Kampala, a city of more than 1.5 million people, as residents find creative solutions to the challenges of urbanisation.

Uganda’s traditional leader praises ag biotechnology
Cornell Alliance for Science

The prime minister of Buganda Kingdom, one of Uganda’s influential traditional institutions, praised biotechnology and agricultural innovations after visiting a government research facility in Namulonge yesterday.

Rwanda’s agricultural exports grow by 44% to over Rwf447b
New Times

Rwanda’s agricultural exports generated over $515.9 million (over Rwf447 billion) in a period of one year from July 2017 to June 2018, representing an increase of 44.73 per cent compared to $356.5 million (over Rwf316.8 billion) generated in the same period in 2016-2017. According to statistics by the National Agriculture Exports Development Board (NAEB), non- traditional exports saw a 60 per cent increase; these include fruit, vegetables, roots and tubers, legumes and cereals, meat, eggs and dairy products as well as live animals.

Fairtrade warns a no-deal Brexit could be disastrous for farmers
Coffee and Cocoa

The report sets out how a number of different commodities from the iconic Fairtrade banana to cocoa and flowers could be impacted should the UK crash out of the EU with no deal, to trade solely on WTO terms. It also looks at the effect of exiting without guaranteeing developing countries the market access they currently have through the EU.

Coffee farmers appeal to roasters and consumers for help
Coffee and Cocoa

Member countries in the World Coffee Producers Forum have appealed to roasters and plan to appeal direct to consumers to help them address the issue of low prices which, they say, needs attention immediately. Representatives of producer associations from Colombia, Brazil, India, Africa and Central America all said the current situation in the market, with the ‘C’ Price in New York below 100 cents, was unsustainable and was causing untold damage to coffee farmers and their families.

Disease resistance in coffee ‘an ongoing battle’
Coffee and Cocoa

A recent study from World Coffee Research and CIRAD recently showed that good fertilization can be as effective as spraying fungicide in protecting a genetically susceptible coffee to rust. Furthermore, it is acknowledged that one of the main reasons for the 2012 rust crisis in Central America was farmers’ reduced maintenance of their trees, itself due to low prices of coffee.

UN report identifies where global harvests will rise and fall by 2050

The United Nations (UN) has released a report “The State of Agricultural Commodity Markets 2018” identifying future winners and losers in agriculture as the planet warms from the effects of climate change. The report attempts to study the relationship between agricultural trade, climate change and food security.

Three ways to be a more sustainable coffee drinker
Conservation International

In just 24 hours, the world consumes approximately 2.25 billion cups of coffee — and demand is growing. At the same time, the area suitable for coffee growing is expected to be cut in half. Three things you can do to protect your favorite brew and to support sustainable coffee and the farmers who grow it.

Policy briefs, research reports and discussion papers:

The state of food security and nutrition in the world

The number of hungry people is growing globally. Climate variability, which has an impact on rainfall patterns and agricultural seasons, and extreme climate conditions such as drought and floods were reported to be the main drivers of the increase in hunger, together with conflict and economic slowdowns.

Joint forces – The impact of intrahousehold cooperation on welfare in East African agricultural households
Els Lecoutere, Bjorn Van Campenhout – UA-IOB Discussion paper 2018.11

In developing countries, a lack of intrahousehold cooperation among members of smallholder agricultural households may result in the inefficient allocation of productive resources. This article estimates the impact of intrahousehold cooperation on household welfare and household public goods provision, using the random encouragement for an intervention intended to stimulate cooperation as an instrument, among smallholder coffee farming households in Uganda and Tanzania. We demonstrate that improved cooperation has substantial positive effects on household income per capita and on the likelihood of household food security. The likelihood of investing in agricultural production, an important public good in these households, is greatly increased by improved cooperation as well. The downside is that, even with an intensive coaching package, the gains in cooperation are not spectacular. We conclude that stimulating intrahousehold cooperation is a promising path to stimulate efficiency, welfare and the provision of household public goods in agricultural households; but we warn against presenting the promotion of cooperation versus strengthening women’s bargaining power as a strict policy choice as it may well be that women gain bargaining power in cooperation.


Women’s empowerment in East Africa: Development of a cross-country comparable measure
SS Miedema, R Haardörfer, AW Girard, KM Yount – World Development, 2018

Women’s empowerment is an indicator of social change and a priority of the Sustainable Development Goals. Debate continues on what domains constitute women’s empowerment and how to measure empowerment across countries. Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) are the most widely available source of data on women’s empowerment. However, measurement invariance often is assumed, but not tested. We used DHS data from Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda to test factor structure and measurement invariance of women’s empowerment among married women ages 15–49. Factor analysis confirmed a three-latent-domain model of women’s empowerment in each country capturing women’s human/social assets, gender attitudes related to wife abuse, and women’s participation in household decisions. Multi-country confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) identified an invariant three-factor model of women’s empowerment and a subset of country-specific items. Our results offer a standardized, invariant measure of women’s empowerment that can be applied to monitor women’s empowerment cross-nationally in East Africa, and possibly beyond.

The Role of Homegardens for Food and Nutrition Security in Uganda
Whitney, C.W., Luedeling, E., Hensel, O. et al – Human Ecology, 2018

The contribution of homegardens to the food and nutrition security of rural farmers has rarely been explored empirically. Our study assesses the influence of homegarden agrobiodiversity, production system parameters, and socioeconomic factors on household dietary diversity and anthropometric conditions in southwest Uganda. Plant inventories of 102 homegardens were followed by two 24-h recalls (n = 589) and anthropometric measurements (n = 325) of household members, as well as household food insecurity questionnaires (n = 95). Regression models explained between 16 and 50% of variance in dietary diversity and between 21 and 75% in anthropometric measurements. Results indicate that supporting diverse homegarden systems can in part reduce food insecurity in Uganda. We conclude with recommendations for further strengthening the role of homegardens in improving dietary and anthropometric outcomes.

Spatially-explicit effects of seed and fertilizer intensification for maize in Tanzania
AM Komarek, J Koo, U Wood-Sichra, L You – Land Use Policy, 2018

Slower than desired growth in crop yields coupled with rising food demand present ongoing challenges for food security in Africa. Some countries, such as Tanzania, have signed the Malabo and Abuja Declarations, which aim to boost food security through increasing crop productivity. The more intensive use of seed and fertilizer presents one approach to raising crop productivity. Our simulation study examined the productivity and economic effects of planting different seed cultivars and increasing fertilizer application rates at multiple spatial scales for maize in Tanzania. We combined crop simulation modelling with household data on costs and prices to examine field-scale and market-scale profitability. To scale out our analysis from the field scale to the regional and national scale (market scale) we applied an economic surplus model. Simulation results suggest that modest changes in seed cultivars and fertilizer application rates can double productivity without having a negative effect on its stability. The profitability of applying extra fertilizer, calculated as its value-cost ratio, increased if improved seed cultivars replaced local seed cultivars. Rankings of district-scale profits differed from rankings of district scale yields, highlighting the importance of considering economic factors in assessments of input intensification. At the national scale, simulation results suggest the total benefit could be US$ 697 million over 5 years if there was a 39 percent adoption rate of planting improved seed and applying extra mineral fertilizer. Providing economic assessments of input intensification helps build evidence for progressing the Malabo and Abuja Declarations.

Farmer incentives and value chain governance: Critical elements to sustainable growth in Rwanda’s coffee sector
DC Clay, AS Bro, RA Church, DL Ortega, AR Bizoza – Journal of Rural Studies, 2018

Limited producer participation and voice in the governance structures of the coffee value chain in Rwanda, a common occurrence in many agricultural export sectors in the developing world, have resulted in low farm gate prices, restricted competition and few incentives for producers to invest human and capital resources in improved coffee production. A twenty year downward spiral of low productivity and stagnant production has ensued. Survey data from 1024 coffee producing households together with key informant interviews and focus group discussions are used to examine how patterns of investment in coffee affect farmers’ productivity and profitability. Findings show that artificially low farm gate cherry prices have driven down coffee production levels and at the same time have enabled a rapid expansion coffee processing capacity. A typology of producers based on capacity to invest and incentives to invest in coffee is constructed to help explain why smallholders are the most productive and largeholder farmers are the least productive when cherry prices are low. Smallholders are ‘pushed’ to produce out of necessity (poverty avoidance) while largeholders are ‘pulled’ to produce uniquely by the lure of higher profit margins, which they achieve only when higher producer prices prevail. Policy recommendations are advanced for greater inclusion of producers in the price negotiation process and for adopting a floor price formula that includes the real cost of production as established by this research.

Are agricultural markets more developed around cities? Testing for urban heterogeneity in separability in Tanzania
JE Allen IV – Food Policy, 2018

A key question for policymakers concerned about feeding Sub-Saharan Africa’s (SSA) rapidly growing cities is whether or not nearby farms benefit from improved agricultural markets. Evidence from case studies and agricultural location theory suggest so, but urban heterogeneity has not yet been found in a common economic test of functioning agricultural markets—the separability result. The test is based on a key insight of the agricultural household model, which finds that a farm’s profit should be maximized independently from household utility given perfect factor markets (i.e., separability), but not so if the household faces at least two market failures (i.e., non-separability). In this paper, I test for geographic heterogeneity in separability between rural, peri-urban, and urban districts using 2014-15 data from the World Bank’s Living Standards Measurement Study and Integrated Surveys on Agriculture (LSMS-ISA) from Tanzania. I find strong evidence that the correlation between pre-harvest labor demand and household size implying non-separability in rural areas is significantly weaker in three of Tanzania’s five largest cities: Dar es Salaam, Arusha, and Mbeya. Given certain assumptions, this can be interpreted as evidence of increased agricultural market functionality around these cities relative to rural areas. Overall, these results contribute to the debate on how to achieve urban food security in SSA and give some validity to agricultural location theory and the separability test as tools to help policymakers characterize the nature of agricultural factor markets.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this email and references to online sources is provided as a public service with the understanding that IFPRI-Kampala/USSP makes no warranties, either expressed or implied, concerning the accuracy, completeness, reliability, or suitability of the information. Nor does IFPRI-Kampala/USSP warrant that the use of this information is free of any claims of copyright infringement. The views and opinions expressed in this this email and references to online sources do not necessarily reflect official policy or position of IFPRI, IFPRI-Kampala or USSP or should not be taken as an endorsement.