Climate Variability and Agricultural Productivity in Uganda

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12 January 2024

Uganda’s climate is changing in terms of rising temperatures and altered precipitation patterns, leading to extreme meteorological conditions such as prolonged drought, floods and landslides, yet the majority (68 percent) of Ugandans largely rely on rain fed agriculture, which can easily be affected by climate variability. This study therefore investigates the effect of climate variability on agricultural productivity in Uganda by combining the long-term climate data sourced from the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and six waves of Uganda National Panel Survey (UNPS) spanning over the period 2009 to 2019. Trend analysis and the regression analysis estimated with panel data confirm the existence of climate variability as well as vulnerability of farming households especially to precipitation variability across all regions of Uganda. The empirical results indicate a significant U-shaped impact of precipitation variability on agricultural productivity. This tends to suggest that as variability in precipitation intensifies, farming households adapt to the changing precipitation and thereby improving their productivity. Regional and crop specific analysis show that relative to other regions of the country, Eastern Uganda is likely to be most affected region while beans and banana are likely to be more affected by climate variability as compared to other crops such as maize and cassava. The study thus recommends measures aimed at encouraging farmers to adapt to the varying climate to increase agricultural productivity in Uganda. There is need to strengthen provision of extension services and training farmers on varying climate across the country.

Peter Babyenda, Jane Kabubo-Mariara, Sule Odhiambo

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Publication reference
Babyenda, P., Kabubo-Mariara, J., & Odhiambo, S. (2023). Climate Variability and Agricultural Productivity in Uganda.
Publication | 12 January 2024