The Impact of Agricultural Technology Adoption on Farmer Welfare in Uganda and Tanzania

Accounting for 75% of the labor force, 43% of GDP and 60% of exports in East African states, the agricultural sector is arguably the most important engine for achieving economic growth, development, job creation, and poverty reduction in East Africa. Nearly 70% of the East African population, and about 90% of the region’s poor, rely heavily on agricultural production. Many African countries have been implementing reforms of their agricultural sectors aiming to ensure high, sustainable economic growth, food security, and poverty reduction. Unfortunately, agricultural sector growth has remained insufficient to address poverty, achieve food security, and lead to sustained economic growth. Technology adoption (time-saving equipment, modern seeds etc.) has been touted as the key to improving productivity and addressing poverty and food insecurity. However, as in the rest of subSaharan Africa, East Africa has low adoption rates of agricultural technology and smallholder farmers remain poor and largely concentrated in rural areas. The results of this study identify the determinants for adoption new agricultural technologies in terms of improved seed varieties in Tanzania and Uganda. By looking at the impact the use of improved seed varieties has on household welfare, the study provides fresh insights that can assist with setting priorities and guiding policymakers.