Assessment of the Relationship between Tea Production and The Factors that Influence it in Bushenyi District: A Case Study of Ruhumuro Sub County
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This research was mainly intended to assess the relationship between tea production and the factors that influence it in Bushenyi district. It was conducted as a step by step project until it was successfully completed. The research findings were based on a sample of 87 farmers selected from Ruhumuro sub county. During data collection, guiding questions were organized in an Open Data Kit software in a systematic order and face to face interviews were conducted with these farmers as the respondents. The data collected was analyzed with the use of STATA package and all the inference made was entirely based on the results of this analysis. Following the results from the analysis, it was found out that the garden size, price per kilogram of tea leaves, amount of fertilizers, the size of hired labor, quantity of fertilizer applied to the tea gardens and the distance from tea gardens to the tea collection points significantly influence tea production at 5% level of significance. The results showed that a farmer who increased their farm size by 1 acre would significantly increase tea production by 430.719 Kg (coef = 430.719, p_value = 0.001) while a shilling increase in price per kilogram of tea leaves would significantly increase tea production by 0.931 kg (coef = 0.931, p_value = 0.034). It was also found out that increasing the distance from the tea garden to the tea collection point by one kilometer would reduce tea production by 149.386kg (coef = -149.386, p_value = 0.029) while a kilogram increase in the fertilizer applied to the tea gardens would significantly increase tea production by 0.118 kilograms (coef = 0.118, p_value = 0.046). It was also observed that increasing the number of hired workers by one person would increase tea production by 29.021Kg (coef = 29.021, p_value = 0.007). Areas for further research were identified and recommendations were made from the research findings. Farmers were advised to improvise ways of expanding their tea gardens so as to increase tea production in Ruhumuro Subcounty and to construct tea sheds at relatively nearer points to their tea gardens so as to reduce this distance and increase production and possibly accelerate their earnings. They were also advised to always apply larger quantities of fertilizer to their tea gardens in order to increase tea production since it was found out that the two are positively and significantly correlated. Traders in tea leaves were advised to pay a higher price per kilogram of tea leaves collected to tea farmers so as to induce them to produce larger quantities of tea. The tea farmers were encouraged to increase the number of hired workers on their tea gardens so as to increase tea production. Researchers were advised to expand the scope of study by looking at more factors that influence tea production other than the ones included in this research and by increasing the reference period when collecting data about tea production. Farmers were also encouraged to always keep records of their operations to ensure availability of reliable data.