The Impact of the National Agricultural Advisory Services Program on Household Production and Welfare in Uganda

"This paper examines the level of participation of vulnerable households headed by females, youths or people living with disabilities in Uganda’s National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) program, and the program’s impact on agricultural households’ access to extension services, the use of improved technologies, crop yield and share of output sold, consumption expenditures and poverty level. We use the difference-in-differences method to analyze panel data derived from matching data from the Uganda National Household Survey 2005/6 and Uganda National Panel Survey 2009/10. In addition, we validate and complement panel data results with qualitative data from focus group discussions. Our results indicate a lower participation rate of vulnerable households in NAADS and further indicate that households participating in NAADS, irrespective of vulnerability status, had higher access to extension services and credit, but the quality of services was of concern. No clear evidence of the program’s impact on the increased use of improved technologies, crop yield and sales by households was observed. Households that participated in NAADS in both 2005/6 and 2009/10 exhibited relatively higher consumption expenditures than their counterparts that participated in NAADS in one period only or were non-NAADS. On the policy front, we argue that the Ministry of Agriculture and NAADS management need to implement an affirmative plan targeting more vulnerable farmers in NAADS phase II,recruit competent and dedicated extension workers, increase farmer capacity building activities and provide farmers with effective technical and input support."