Grain hermetic storage adoption in Northern Uganda: awareness, use, and the constraints to technology adoption
Onyinge, James Denis
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Post-harvest storage losses (PHLs) remain significant in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) due to several factors mainly insect pests and molds. Hermetic storage technologies (HSTs) are being promoted to address these storage losses. In Uganda, HSTs were first introduced in 2012. However, its use among farming households remains low today. Data were collected from 306 smallholder farmers from four districts of Northern Uganda using a pre-tested semi-structured questionnaire to understand their knowledge, use, and constraints to the adoption of hermetic storage. A multivariate Logit regression model was used to find the significance of the factors affecting adoption. Results showed low awareness and use of hermetic storage among smallholder farmers. Only 53.3% of the interviewed farmers were aware of the use of hermetic storage for grain storage. The SuperGrain bag was the most known form of hermetic storage (35.3%), followed by the Purdue Improved Crop Storage (PICS) bag (34.9%), metallic silo (15.5%), and plastic silo (14.4%). Hermetic storage use was even lower as only 17.6% of the surveyed farmers were using one or more forms of hermetic storage to store their grains. Insect pest management without chemical insecticides was the main reason (83.1%) for hermetic storage use. About 75.5% of those aware of hermetic storage had received training in the technology. Hermetic storage use in farming households led to improved food availability, household income, and nutrition. Lack of local availability (50.2%), high costs (37.8%), and inadequate knowledge (6.9%) were the main constraints hindering the adoption of hermetic storage in Northern Uganda. The logit regression models showed that only training in hermetic storage significantly (p = 0.002) affected farmers’ decision to adopt hermetic storage. Understanding the factors that constrain the adoption of HSTs could provide policymakers with important information to initiate and design policies and programs aimed at reducing crop storage losses.
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