Use of improved methods of crop farming and livelihoods of small holder farmers in Luuka district
The purpose of this study was to establish the effect of improved methods of crop farming on the livelihoods of small-holder farmers in Luuka district. The objectives of study included; to find out the improved methods of crop farming used by small holder farmers, to determine the effect of improved methods of crop farming on the financial capital, physical possessions and food availability for small holder farmers in Luuka district. The study adopted a cross sectional study design. The sample size was 295 respondents which consisted of 275 household heads, 15 Village Local council 1 chairpersons, 2 Sub- County chairpersons, 2 Sub – County Operation Wealth Creation staff and 1 District Agricultural Officer. Purposive and simple random sampling was used to select the respondents. The study relied mostly on primary data that was collected using questionnaires, interview and observation methods. The quantitative data were analyzed by tabulating, and computing frequencies, percentages and the chi – square test was run to determine whether there were significant differences between adopters and non-adopters in terms of livelihoods. Qualitative data was analyzed by coding and establishing common themes according to objectives of study that emerged in the process of interacting with participants. The findings show that most farmers in Luuka district (69.1%) had adopted improved methods of crop farming. The dominant improved methods of crop farming in the area were; use of high breed crops (25.8%), use of pesticides (13.7%), use of crop rotation (13.2%) and use of fertilizers (11.1%). Findings reveal that use of improved methods of crop farming practices improved farmers’ incomes, led to acquisition of more physical assets and increased food availability. Using the study findings it is recommended that it necessitates training small holder farmers to adopt improved methods of crop farming practices, sensitize small holder farmers in order to increase food availability and incomes. As such, policy makers should encourage adoption of improved methods of crop farming practices.