Factors affecting pineapple production:A case of smallholder farmers in Kayunga district
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Pineapple (Ananas cosmos) is a horticultural crop grown in Africa and Uganda in the central region of Mukono, Kayunga, Luwero, and Masaka. Pineapple is produced exclusively as a small-holder crop, either as a sole crop or an intercrop with bananas. In these areas, farmers grow pineapple as a major source of cash and for a variety of other purposes including home consumption and processing into juices as well as solar drying for exports. The study aimed at assessing the factors that affect pineapple production in Kayunga district. The objectives of the study were; to characterize the smallholder pineapple farmers in Kayunga district and to determine the factors that affect pineapple production among smallholder farmers in Kayunga district. A total of 120 pineapple farmers were randomly selected from different parishes in Kangulumira sub-county. The data were analyzed using both descriptive statistics and econometric techniques. Descriptive statistics revealed that the majority (90%) of the respondents were males. The average years of schooling of the respondents were 7.125 years while the average age of the respondents were 40.125 years. Majority of the respondents (95.83%) plant first grade pineapple variety, and mainly sell their pineapple produces to middlemen, which fetches them low prices. Regression results showed that the significant factors that affect pineapple production include access to credit, gender of the farmer, grade of pineapple grown and off farm income. Education, household size, farmer’s experience, age, and farmer group do not affect pineapple production. Based on the findings, the study recommends the increased use of cheap agricultural credit or credit without interest rates to farmers to increase pineapple production. The study also recommends a need for more extension services such as interventions and education facilities to train farmers on modern and urban farming techniques equipping them with knowledge and information that help improve their production levels. It also recommends farmer to have more to access the unproductive land which can be utilized for pineapple growing which in turn increase pineapple production as it was observed that farmers were operating on small land sizes yet the study showed land size under production significantly affects production levels.