Effect of access to market of agricultural commodities on soil and water conservation investment in Sebei Sub Region, Eastern Uganda.
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Soil and water conservation (SWC) investments cannot be undertaken in isolation from development dimensions that frame the livelihood strategies of households in a specific area. A study was conducted in Kapchorwa and Bukwo (Sebei region) districts to examine the effects of access to market of agricultural products on investment in soil and water conservation. The present study sought: (1) To find out the constraints that inhibit farmers’ to access markets in Sebei sub-region. (2) To establish the influence of access to market, infrastructure and input supply to investment in soil and water conservation in Sebei Region. The study design was mainly descriptive and cross sectional. A multi-stage sampling procedure was used to select sites for the study that represented diverse socio-economic environments and farmers interviewed in the study area. A semi-structured questionnaire was administered to the randomly selected farmers. Data were cleaned, coded and subjected to regression analysis using the binary logit model to show farmers’ socio-economic characteristics and other factors that were hypothesized to influence farmers’ investment in soil and water management practices. Findings revealed that limited availability and high costs of inputs, poor roads and high transport costs, lack of organization by farmers among others were the major market access constraints that farmers face. However, improvement in the availability and affordability of farm inputs would enhance the capacity of farmers to invest in soil and water conservation. There is a need for Government supplies and subsidies of farm inputs to be availed to farmers in order to enhance soil and water conservation in the area. Farmers will also benefit from these subsidies if the road infrastructure is improved and upgraded so that their produce reaches the markets safely and timely. Higher returns will be achieved if farmers organize themselves in needs-driven groups for easy monitoring.