Effect of middlemen on agricultural productivity. Case study of Kagadi district
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The study was aimed at investigating the effects of middlemen on Agricultural productivity in Uganda using Kagadi district as the case study. The study was based on different objectives that included; to establish the effect of prices set by middlemen on agricultural productivity, determine the effect of weighting system used by middlemen on agricultural productivity, and evaluate the effects of farmer’s access to information on prices on agricultural productivity. Data was collected from a sample of 300 smallholder farmers from Kagadi district using a well-designed questionnaire. Univariate, bivariate and multivariate analysis was conducted and the results were presented using tables and graphs. The findings reveal that middlemen have a great influence in the general productivity of the agricultural sector most especially through price setting, delivering information to farmers, and through their weighting systems. The results showed a positive correlation between prices set by middlemen and agricultural productivity (r = 0.657), a positive correlation between weighting system used by middlemen and agricultural productivity (r = 0.905), and farmer’s access to information on prices gave a positive correlation with agricultural productivity (r = 0.957). This study showed that market information can lead to an increase in the price that a farmer receives from middlemen through a different channel. Access to information allows for the presence of different types of middlemen, and for farmers to switch to a different buyer between periods. There is need to sensitive smallholder farmers on the importance of middlemen most especially the role they play in solve the market and production problems of farmers. Farmers should however be taught on the best ways to relate with middlemen so as to avoid any conflict of interest between the two parties that could result into cheating such as manipulation of weighing scales by middlemen.