Socioeconomic conditions influencing tea production by households in Bushenyi District. A Case Study of Kyamuhunga Sub-County
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This study focused at investigating the socio-economic factors affecting tea production by households involved in tea growing in Bushenyi district with the following specific objectives: to determine whether the marketing factors are responsible for the declining tea production by households in Kyamuhunga Sub County; to find out whether education level of tea farmers affects tea production by households in Kyamuhunga Sub County; to find out whether the amount of fertilizer applied on tea plantations significantly affects tea production by households in Kyamuhunga Sub County and lastly to determine whether type of labor employed on tea plantation affects tea production by households in Kyamuhunga Sub County. The study strictly utilized primary data sources through interviewing the small scale tea growers in Kyamuhunga Sub-County by administering questionnaires to the out growers which provided a wide range of options for them to choose from. The data was coded and then captured using MS Excel and imported to STATA for analysis. The study revealed that majority of the tea farmers (80.0%) were females while the remaining percentage were males (20.0%), 72.0 percent were married, the highest percentage of the respondents (32.0%) had attained secondary education and the majority of the tea farmers (82.0%) were trained by the Agricultural Extension Officers. The study further revealed that there is a significant difference in mean amount of tea in Kgs plucked between extensive services (since p=0.0046), training of farmers (since p=0.0018), number of times trained (since p=0.0038), fertilizer application (since p=0.0149), satisfaction with tea market (since p=0.0472) unlike the education level of farmers (since p =0.3262 is >0.05). the study further showed that there is a very strong positive statistically significant relationship between the amount of tea (Kg) harvested and the earnings per yield (r = 0.8722, p < 0.0000). In other words, the higher the amount of tea harvested in a particular season, the more earnings per yield. Since a farmer with formal education can read and understand technological aspects of tea production better. The findings suggested that majority of tea farmers did not have access to formal education services provided by agricultural extension officers on tea production aspects. Therefore, in order to educate and empower the farmer, the Government and Uganda Tea Association to lay down a sound structure that transforms the small holder tea farmer positively. The concept of “extension” should be reconsidered and replaced with dialogue and communication.