Impacts of Improved Storage Technology among Smallholder Farm Households in Uganda

Many poverty alleviation and development programs focus on increasing agricultural production and productivity through the use of improved seed varieties and chemical fertilizer; but ignore what happens in the postharvest season. However, increasing productivity without proper postharvest grain management practices will also increase quantity and quality losses. In this study, we use a randomized control trial implemented among 1190 farm households across the maize growing regions of Uganda to examine the impact of improved storage technology on household storage decisions at harvest, and on their input use. We exogenously treated one group of farm households providing them with hermetic storage bags. The control group continued to use traditional storage techniques. However, since the study is still on-going and post intervention data is not yet available, we used chemical protectant as a proxy for improved storage technology, and used panel estimation techniques to control for unobserved heterogeneity using our baseline data. Our results indicate that on average, protectant use increases maize storage by about 150 kilograms of maize at harvest with statistical significance. We also find that the use of storage protectant increases the length of storage for consumption by 3.7 weeks on average. Since the average length of hungry season per households’ in our dataset is 9 weeks, these findings are important to household food security.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2017-04-26

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