A study on maize production and profitability in Buhimba Sub-County Hoima District
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The study was to assess the productivity and profitability of maize production in Buhimba sub-county Hoima district. Well-designed questionnaires were used to collect data from 80 maize farmers. The respondents were selected by random sampling so as to avoid bias in the study. These data were coded and entered into SPSS (version 16.0) computer software for analysis. Results of this study show that out of the 80 farmers, majority (57.5%) of farmers were males while only 42.5% were females. Analysis of the marital status showed that (70%) of them were married, singles, (21.25%) and only 8.75% were separated. This means that most people who were married engaged themselves maize production probably due to the fact they have responsibilities and families to take care of as compared to single and separated people. The average gross margin is 160,034.98Uganda shillings implying that the profitability in maize enterprises is still low due to the various factors that influence the level of maize production like education level, experience and also extension services maybe lacking hence the low average gross margin between the respondents. Household size, experience, distance to the market, size of land under maize production and access to credit had a significant effect on the quantity of maize produced by farmers. The major problem the farmers are facing during production is the pest and disease prevalence which has a frequency of 47 and 87% of the respondents mentioned it as their first challenge. Then too much sunshine that can possibly lead to scorching of the plants had a frequency of 35 and 64.8% of the respondents saying it’s one of the challenges that is had to control because it’s natural. Based on the results the study recommend the government of Uganda and other relevant authorities targeting agricultural development and food security focusing on smallholder maize production and marketing with the aim of improving the welfare of the farmers out to adopt recommendations such as improving on the maize marketing system especially the pricing to improve the profitability of the crop in the smallholder farmers and ultimately luring more farmers to cultivate the staple crop. The study recommends the government to recapitalize the grain marketing institution, to improve its operations.