Factors affecting cocoyam production in Mityana district
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Cocoyam (Colocasia and Xanthosoma spp) are one of the world’s most ancient food crops, whose central role in agriculture and food cultures is an aspect that can’t just be taken for granted. Since time immemorial, Cocoyam have been maintained in a diverse range of agro-ecologies, unfortunately mostly as neglected crops, despite their potential ability to address food and nutritional insecurity issue in food insecure regions such as sub-Saharan Africa. The aim of this study was to assess factors affecting cocoyam production in Mityana district so as to propose strategies for boosting production of cocoyam. A survey involving face to face interviews with farmers and key informants, as well as physical observations was conducted in Mityana district in central Uganda. The study covered five parishes namely; Kanyanya, Nabattu, Magonga, Kiwawu and Zigoti. From each parish, six villages were randomly selected to provide a respondent purposively selected as a participant in this study. Thus, a total of 30 respondents participated in this study, and each was administered with a pre-tested semi-structured questionnaire. Face-to-face interviews were also conducted with 8Agricultural extension workers and 15 key model farmers in various villages. Results revealed that 53.3 percent of the respondents had at least attained primary education, 43.3 percent were married and most of them (43.3 percent) were in the age range of 40-50 years. Farm size, access to planting materials and education level were recorded as the most common factors influencing cocoyam production. Destruction from pigs (50% of responses) was recorded as the major production constraint as limited land, low yield, water logging of swamps in rainy seasons, limited access to planting materials, pests and diseases, poor soils and labor intensiveness of the crop were also noted for challenging successful cocoyam production in the study area.