Assessing the extent to which farmers keep records and its impact on agricultural productivity in Pakwach District
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Farm record-keeping is an integral component of farm management considering its applications in keeping track of material movements within the farm, enterprise planning and major decision making within the farm. However, in Pakwach district, there is less indication of the use of farm records, its prevalence and measures of how it may contribute to farm productivity. In effect, farmers eventually end up losing out on achieving maximum total revenues. The objectives of this study were to determine farm record-keeping behavior among the farmers and to assess the impacts of record keeping, if any, on farmers' productivity in pakwach district. 100 Participants were obtained from four random villages in two purposely selected sub-counties of Pakwach district. Data was collected through questionnaires and interviews. Analysis was done to obtain means, percentages and other statistics. T-tests were performed to determine significant differences, in productivity (in bags of dry cassava chips per farmer per acre per year) of the farmers who kept or did not keep records, at 5% confidence interval. Ordinary least squares regression analysis was also performed to examine how other affected farmers' productivity in relation to record-keeping. This study found that, much as there were slight differences in productivity of farmers, no significant difference existed between farmers who kept farm records (3.84 bags of dry cassava chips per farmer per acre per year) and those who did not keep records (3.02 bags of dry cassava chips per farmer per acre per year). It was also established that majority of farmers were growing crops on land which was either 5 acres or less regardless of whether they kept records or not. Among those who kept records, production records (16%) were the most prevalent while farmers placed less concern was on financial records. The most common reason for not keeping records was that they were either a waste of time (46%) or not important (42%). Record-keepers cited time saving, acquisition of loan and improved organization as some of the reasons for keeping farm records. In presence of socio-economic factors such as age, gender, education level and farm capital source, record-keeping negatively influenced farmers' productivity. This study concluded, contrary to the researcher's hypothesis, that the percentage of farmers who keep farm records in Pakwach district and those that do not keep farm records are more or less the same. The researcher recommends more sensitization on record-keeping to be done in Pakwach district to encourage more farmers to adopt farm record-keeping as it adds for value addition to the farm.