Drivers of maize area expansion in Uganda
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The increase in maize production in Uganda has majorly been as a result of increase in area expansion rather than yield improvement. The study aimed at finding out the drivers of maize area expansion in Uganda. Specific objectives were to determine the relationship between maize area harvested on one hand, and population, export demand, and demand for animal feed. A 30-year secondary dataset from 1990-2020 obtained from FAOSTAT was analyzed in STATA software. Analytical methods included: descriptive statistics, scatter plots, regression analysis using Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) model, vector autoregression, time series plots, stationarity tests, and the granger causality test. The results revealed that there is a strong positive relationship between maize area harvested in Uganda and population i.e. the increase in population increases the area under which maize is grown implying that local food demand is the major driver for food supply. The Johansen test revealed that there is a long run relationship between population and area under maize implying that population will continue to exert an upward pressure on land resources for food production. This pressure can be reduced through population control or through increased productivity of existing resources. The study therefore recommends use of farming technologies that improves maize productivity to increase food supply on finite land resources rather than increasing area under maize.