Profitability of low-head drip irrigation kit technology in vegetable farming in Kabale District
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This study was about the profitability of low head drip kit irrigation technology in vegetable farming in Kabale district. The general objective of this study was to find out profits from the use of low-head drip irrigation kits technology in vegetable farming in Kabale district and the specific objectives were to find out whether vegetable farmers in Kabale district use low head drip irrigation technology, to find out the challenges associated with the use of low-head drip irrigation kit technology and vegetable farming, and to examine the returns associated with the use of low head drip irrigation kit technology. The researcher sampled out only vegetable farmers who use low-head drip irrigation kit technology in Kabale district. Every farmer using this technology got equal opportunity of being included in the study. The primary data was collected through the use of questionnaires that were distributed among the participants. Gross margin was also used to show the extent to which the percentage benefits from the use of this technology exceeded the farmers‟ cost of the technology. Regression analysis helped to understand how the typical value of the dependent variable (Gross Margin) changed when any one of the independent variables was varied, while the other independent variables were held constant. Study results showed that, the average total cost before using drip kits was Ugshs 438,400 and after using drip kits, the average cost increased „at a reducing rate‟ to Ugshs 654, 860 in the short run. Costs increased in the short run due to installation, depreciation, repair and outsourcing. The average revenue almost tripled, from 1,664,548.96 to 12,754,860 after using drip kits. As a result, average profits shifted from 1,226,148.96 to 12,100,000. Profits increased due to a sharp increase in output and increase in price as a result of increased quality. Profits were therefore found to have deviate by 10,873,851.04, in a single season of 6months. Study results showed that, the major specific challenge faced in using locally developed drip-kits by vegetable farmers in Kabale district is difficulty in accessing tools and equipment (52%). Other specific challenges include: developing a sustainable drip kit (28%), constant fetch of water (12%), installation (04%) and control of floods (04%). Furthermore, study results also showed that, the major specific challenge faced in using purchased drip-kits by vegetable farmers in Kabale district is installation (64%). The study therefore recommends that much focus should be put on female farmers as they presented higher returns in vegetable production using drip kits, farmers need to be fully trained to gain enough skills and experience for results to be higher, sensitization on the advantages associated with the use of drip kit irrigation technology to improve food security and earning country‟s foreign exchange.