Potential Productivity and Economic Outcomes from Adopting both Agricultural Technology and Extension

There is low level of agricultural technology adoption across Uganda. Most farming households using fertilizer apply it on local seed; majority of farmers don’t use either improved seed, fertilizer and also do not receive extension support—this presents an enormous productivity challenge. This paper examines the productivity and economic implications of adopting various technology-extension policy options in Uganda. Data from the Agricultural Technology and Agribusiness Advisory Survey is used to simulate a counterfactual for the different scenarios across nine agro-ecological zones of Uganda. Our descriptive results show that full (complete) technological policy mix is dominant in driving agricultural crop productivity—suggesting that single or piece-meal agricultural technology interventions fall short of delivering desirable agricultural productivity. When improved seed is used in combination with fertilizer, productivity and production almost doubles compared to either single or non-application of the technologies. With inclusion of agricultural extension support service in addition to technology application, we observe better agricultural productivity as well as economic returns. Similarly, econometric evidence demonstrate that the productivity gain due to application of a full package of agricultural interventions is larger than that of single and/or partial intervention, although the effects are more significant in households higher up on the agricultural productivity distribution. Accordingly, agriculture development efforts should put emphasis on effective design and implementation of agricultural technology and extension related policies, using an integrated approach to improve joint access to technologies as well as extension services, as a policy intervention package. Instituting effective coordination mechanism for implementing these policies to ensure an integrated package of service delivery is paramount.