A phenomenological inquiry to understand Ugandan farmers’ perceived barriers to fertilizer use

Keywords: Uganda, fertilizer adoption, qualitative inquiry, poverty trap theory, international development, extension education

Abstract

Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries hold the promise of becoming the second breadbasket of the world if they adopt modern farming practices, including the use of fertilizers and other agricultural inputs. Increasing food production is imminent for all nations, especially in SSA due to the growing global population. Agricultural input adoption, such as fertilizers, leads to an increase in productivity; however, adoption rates among SSA nations remain chronically low. Using a phenomenological lens and qualitative research methods to gather interview data from 30 Ugandan subsistence farmers in situ, we described what and how farmers experienced in regard making decisions to adopt or reject fertilizers. Findings indicated that farmers experienced two poverty traps, resource and cultural beliefs. Recommended interventions include increasing participation in farmer groups and increasing participation in Extension training on the use of agricultural inputs, especially fertilizers.

References

Adato, M., Carter, M. R., & May, J. (2006). Exploring poverty traps and social exclusion in South Africa using qualitative and quantitative data. The Journal of Development Studies, 42(2), 226-247. https://doi.org/10.1080/00220380500405345

Banerjee, A. V., & Duflo, E. (2011). Poor economics: A radical rethinking of the way to fight global poverty. Public Affairs.

Barrett, C. B., & Carter, M. R. (2013). The economics of poverty traps and persistent poverty: Empirical and policy implications. Journal of Development Studies, 49(7), 976-990. https://doi.org/10.1080/00220388.2013.785527

Barrett, C. B., Garg, T., & McBride, L. (2016). Well-being dynamics and poverty traps. Annual Review of Resource Economics, 8, 303–327. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-resource-100815-095235

Barrett, C. B., & Sheahan, M. (2017). Ten striking facts about agricultural input use in Sub-Saharan Africa. Food Policy, 67, 12-25. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodpol.2016.09.010

Bhalla, A., & Lapeyre, F. (2002). Social exclusion: Towards an analytical and operational framework. Development and change, 28(3), 413-433. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-7660.00049

Bunyatta, D. K., Mureithi, J. G., Onyango, C. A., & Ngesa, F. U. (2005). Farmer field school as an effective methodology for disseminating agricultural technologies: Up-scaling of soil management technologies among small-scale farmers in Trans-Nzoia district, Kenya. Proceedings of the 21st Annual conference of the Association for International Agricultural and Extension Education, San Antonio, TX, 515-525.

Chaim, N. (2008). Sampling knowledge: The hermeneutics of snowball sampling in qualitative research. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 11(4), 327-344. https://doi.org/10.1080/13645570701401305

Chantarat, S., & Barrett C. B. (2012). Social network capital, economic mobility and poverty traps. Journal of Economic Inequality, 10(3), 299–342. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10888-011-9164-5

Enfors, E. (2013). Social–ecological traps and transformations in dryland agro-ecosystems: Using water system innovations to change the trajectory of development. Global Environmental Change 23(1), 51–60. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2012.10.007

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. (2015). Responding to the challenges of poverty, food insecurity and climate change. Country programming framework 2015-2019. Kampala, Uganda. Retrieved from http://www.fao.org/3/a-bp628e.pdf

Golafshani, N. (2003). Understanding reliability and validity in qualitative research. The Qualitative Report, 8(4), 597-606. http://www.nova.edu/ssss/QR/QR8-4/golafshani.pdf

Lade, S. J., Haider, L. J., Engström, G., & Schlüter, M. (2017). Resilience offers escape from trapped thinking on poverty alleviation. Science Advances, 3(5), e1603043. https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.1603043

Saldaña, J. (2015). The coding manual for qualitative researchers. Sage.

Sigman, V. A., Chibwana, C., & Matenje, I. (1994). Reaching Malawian smallholder farmers with agricultural extension programs: A case for increased use of women-farmer groups. Journal of International Agricultural and Extension Education, 1(2), 35-41. https://doi.org/10.5191/jiaee.1994.01206

The World Bank. (2013). Remarkable declines in global poverty, but major challenges remain. Retrieved from http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2013/04/17/remarkable-declines-in-global-poverty-but-major-challenges-remain

Tracy, S. J. (2010). Qualitative quality: Eight “Big-Tent” criteria for excellent qualitative research. Qualitative Inquiry, 16(10), 837-851. https://doi.org/10.1177/1077800410383121

Uganda Bureau of Statistics. (2010). Summary Report on Uganda Census of Agriculture 2008/2009. Volume 1. Kampala, Uganda. Retrieved from https://www.ubos.org/wpcontent/uploads/publications/03_2018UCASummary.pdf

Van Manen, M. (2014). Phenomenology of practice: Meaning-giving methods in phenomenological research and writing. Left Coast Press.

Williamson, D. L., Choi, J., Charchuk, M., Rempel, G. R., Pitre, N., Breitkreuz, R., & Kushner, K. E. (2011). Interpreter-facilitated cross-language interviews: A research note. Qualitative research, 11(4), 381-394. https://doi.org/10.1177/1468794111404319

Published
2020-01-28
How to Cite
Mulvaney, C., & Kelsey, K. (2020). A phenomenological inquiry to understand Ugandan farmers’ perceived barriers to fertilizer use. Advancements in Agricultural Development, 1(1), 63-74. https://doi.org/10.37433/aad.v1i1.7
Section
Articles

Most read articles by the same author(s)