The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) Abuja Office is pleased to announce the publication of the IFPRI Discussion Paper No. 01716 entitled “Farmers’ Crop Choice Decisions: Trends and Determinants in Nigeria and Uganda”. The paper, co-authored by Mulubrhan Amare, George Mavrotas and Hyacinth Edeh, investigates how farmers allocate their available farm land under various drivers of crop choice. The authors also investigate the determinants and trends of crop area and income diversification. They use panel data from nationally representative household-level surveys for Nigeria and Uganda that contain rich socioeconomic and demographic information, merging the survey data with detailed weather shocks and land cover change.
The main results emanating from the paper using seemingly unrelated and fixed-effects regression models for crop choice decision and crop diversification are summarized as follows. The authors find that weather shocks affect farmers’ crop choice decisions, but effects differ across major crop categories. For example, they find that rainfall shocks increase the land share of pulses in both countries. However, rainfall shocks have a negative effect on the land share of tuber crops in Nigeria and cash crops in Uganda.
They also find that increased land cover decreases the land share of pulses and tuber crops, whereas it increases the land share of cereal crops in Nigeria. For Uganda, increased land cover increases the land share of tuber crops and cash crops, whereas it decreases the land share of cereal crops.
The analysis also highlights the importance of household characteristics, plot characteristics, and road accessibility in explaining farmers’ crop choice decisions, measured using land and income shares of major crops. The authors also examine the determinants of crop diversification using both crop area and income diversification. The results show that significant variables are heterogeneous in sign and magnitude across the two countries.
Similarly, they find that socioeconomic variables and plot characteristics play a significant role in explaining crop area and income diversification in both countries.
The authors conclude that in order to elucidate appropriate policymaking in response to agricultural transformation, the use of in-depth country-specific analysis of crop diversification and farmers’ crop choice decision-making processes seems to be very timely and relevant.
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