Profitability of pumpkin production in Zirobwe Sub-County, Luwero District
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Pumpkin is one of the underutilized fruit vegetables in Uganda despite the fact that it has wide spectrum of both nutritional and medicinal values. The study was conducted to determine profitability of pumpkin production in Zirobwe sub-county Luwero district and the specific objectives were; to describe the socio economic characteristics of pumpkin farmers, to establish the differences in variable costs of different pumpkin varieties, to determine total revenue and to compare differences in profits across pumpkin varieties. A sample of 48 Pumpkin farmers from Zirobwesub-county was selected from farmers using snowball sampling technique and a group of 5 potential farmers were initially selected and helped in identifying other farmers through referrals. Semi-structured questionnaires were administered to respondents to collect relevant primary data. Descriptive statistics show that the minority (33.3%) of the surveyed households were males. Farmers were about 46 years old on average and attained 7 years of education. Only a few (18.75%) had access to extension services and the minority (2.08%) had access to credit. Only 16.67% of the pumpkin farmers sampled used fertilizers in the production of pumpkins. The findings also show that the majority of the sampled pumpkin farmers (81.25%) had their own land therefore did not incur costs of rent. Pumpkin varieties grown by farmers in Zirobwe sub-county included; Ozinga, Dulu and Sugar Pie. Ozinga was the most cultivated variety by farmers (68.8%), followed by Dulu variety (31.3%) and the least grown variety was Sugar Pie (29.2%). The findings show that, Ozinga variety had more variable costs incurred in its production (53,281.3 Shs) compared to other varieties like Dulu (9,395.8 Shs) and Sugar Pie (9,989.7 Shs).The findings show that, in all the three varieties, the total revenue is greater than the total variable costs, with highest revenue from Ozinga (327,216.7 Shs), followed by Dulu (45,518.8 Shs) and lastly Sugar Pie (31,372.9 Shs). The average profits earned from Ozinga (273,935.4 Shs) were higher than those of Dulu (36,123.0 Shs) and Sugar Pie (21,383.2 Shs). Therefore, according to the results the study concluded that pumpkin production is profitable. This research also recommended subsidization of costs of basic inputs like agro-chemicals, fertilizers to allow farmers use fertilizers so as to enhance pumpkin production as well as making good quality seeds of improved varieties available to farmers for decreased costs of production.