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Perceptions and outlook on intercropping coffee with banana as an opportunity for smallholder coffee farmers in Uganda Jassogne, Laurence ; van Asten, Piet J.A. ; Wanyama, Ibrahim ; Baret, Philippe Abstract

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Perceptions and outlook on intercropping coffee with banana as an opportunity for smallholder coffee farmers in Uganda Jassogne, Laurence ; van Asten, Piet J.A. ; Wanyama, Ibrahim ; Baret, Philippe Abstract Coffee and banana are important cash and food crops in Uganda and the surrounding East African highland region. Production is dominated by smallholders that have limited arable land and often coffee and banana are intercropped. No significant research and development efforts have been undertaken over the last few decades on this coffee/banana intercropping system. Because recent studies suggest that this system could be a practice with high benefits to the farmers, we decided to study the perceptions of stakeholders along the coffee value chain starting with farmers. Perception analysis based on openended interviews following interview guides revealed that a major limitation for the sustainability of this system was poor soil fertility conditions. Perceptions on the benefits of intercropping differed little among coffee actors; that is, banana intercropping provides additional food and income from smallholders limited land and helps farmers reduce risks related to drought, pest/d... Document type : Article de périodique (Journal article) Référence bibliographique Jassogne, Laurence ; van Asten, Piet J.A. ; Wanyama, Ibrahim ; Baret, Philippe. Perceptions and outlook on intercropping coffee with banana as an opportunity for smallholder coffee farmers in Uganda. In: International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability, Vol. 11, no.2, p (2013) DOI : / Available at: [Downloaded 2017/03/16 at 11:59:01 ] This article was downloaded by: [Wageningen UR Library] On: 31 August 2012, At: 01:21 Publisher: Taylor & Francis Informa Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: Registered office: Mortimer House, Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UK International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability Publication details, including instructions for authors and subscription information: Perceptions and outlook on intercropping coffee with banana as an opportunity for smallholder coffee farmers in Uganda Laurence Jassogne a b, Piet J.A. van Asten b, Ibrahim Wanyama b & Philippe V. Baret a a Earth and Life Institute, Université catholique de Louvain, Croix du Sud, 2L , Louvain-la-Neuve, 1348, Belgium b International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), P.O. Box 7878, Kampala, Uganda Version of record first published: 28 Aug 2012 To cite this article: Laurence Jassogne, Piet J.A. van Asten, Ibrahim Wanyama & Philippe V. Baret (2012): Perceptions and outlook on intercropping coffee with banana as an opportunity for smallholder coffee farmers in Uganda, International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability, DOI: / To link to this article: PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLE Full terms and conditions of use: This article may be used for research, teaching, and private study purposes. Any substantial or systematic reproduction, redistribution, reselling, loan, sub-licensing, systematic supply, or distribution in any form to anyone is expressly forbidden. The publisher does not give any warranty express or implied or make any representation that the contents will be complete or accurate or up to date. The accuracy of any instructions, formulae, and drug doses should be independently verified with primary sources. The publisher shall not be liable for any loss, actions, claims, proceedings, demand, or costs or damages whatsoever or howsoever caused arising directly or indirectly in connection with or arising out of the use of this material. International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability ifirst article 2012, 1 15 Perceptions and outlook on intercropping coffee with banana as an opportunity for smallholder coffee farmers in Uganda Laurence Jassogne a,b, Piet J.A. van Asten b, Ibrahim Wanyama b and Philippe V. Baret a a Earth and Life Institute, Université catholique de Louvain, Croix du Sud, 2L , Louvain-la-Neuve, 1348, Belgium; b International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), P.O. Box 7878, Kampala, Uganda Coffee and banana are important cash and food crops in Uganda and the surrounding East African highland region. Production is dominated by smallholders that have limited arable land and often coffee and banana are intercropped. No significant research and development efforts have been undertaken over the last few decades on this coffee/banana intercropping system. Because recent studies suggest that this system could be a practice with high benefits to the farmers, we decided to study the perceptions of stakeholders along the coffee value chain starting with farmers. Perception analysis based on open-ended interviews following interview guides revealed that a major limitation for the sustainability of this system was poor soil fertility conditions. Perceptions on the benefits of intercropping differed little among coffee actors; that is, banana intercropping provides additional food and income from smallholders limited land and helps farmers reduce risks related to drought, pest/disease attacks and coffee price volatility. However, farmers desire to minimize risks does not match the objective of stakeholders higher up the coffee value chain to maximize coffee production. Furthermore, research by public institutes, both national and international, is primarily organized for single crops and not systems. We conclude that the institutional setting of the coffee sector hampers the promotion of intercropping, despite the benefits for the farmer. Keywords: farming system; coffee; banana; innovation; perception analysis; food security; institutional settings 1. Introduction Coffee and banana are primary cash and food crops in Uganda and the surrounding East African highland countries. In Uganda, coffee constitutes 20 30% of the foreign exchange earnings (UCDA 2011) and banana is its primary staple crop (Edmeades 2006). According to FAOSTAT (2010), banana (Musa spp.) is estimated to meet.10% of the dietary energy requirements in Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi. Both crops are predominantly grown by smallholders with farm size,2 ha (Ponte 2002) and can be found on the same farm on separate or as intercropped plots. In Uganda, 80% of the coffee grown is Robusta (Coffea cenafora) and 20% is Arabica coffee (Coffea arabica) (UCDA 2011). Robusta coffee is grown at altitudes up to 1500 m while Arabica coffee is dominant above this altitude. The coffee/banana intercropping system has been described as a traditional system in Uganda in both Robusta and Arabica growing regions (Oduol and Aluma 1990).When the colonial powers Corresponding author. ISSN print/issn X online # 2012 Taylor & Francis 2 L. Jassogne et al. introduced coffee at a large scale in the first half of the 20th century, farmers traditionally intercropped bananas at planting, but found it challenging to keep both crops productive over time (Thomas 1940a, 1940b). Later, Mitchell (1963) observed negative effects of banana intercropping on coffee yields in a trial in Bukoba, Tanzania. After 4 years, coffee yield decreased by 35% when intercropped. He concluded that intercropping could not be recommended, but based this conclusion solely on coffee revenue, without including the banana revenue generated from the same plot. Despite the doubts raised on the productivity and sustainability of coffee/ banana intercrop systems, recent studies suggest that intercropping potentially provides numerous advantages to the smallholder farmer. First, it offers higher returns per unit land compared with coffee that is monocropped, even if coffee yields decrease (Chipungahelo et al. 2004, van Asten et al. 2011). Ouma (2009) suggested that farmers increasingly revert to intercropping due to declining farm sizes in an effort to reduce risks related to income and food security. If one crop is attacked, there will be the harvest from the other crop for food or cash. The one-dimensional focus on coffee yield in the intercrop study by Mitchell (1963) was probably perceived acceptable at that time, since coffee was one of the few export products that generated substantial foreign revenue for the East African countries. Assuring high and reliable yields was, and still is, of key importance for Uganda and its neighbours. Besides the socio-economic advantages of intercropping coffee with bananas, there are numerous beneficial biophysical interactions. Banana offers a continuous ground cover keeping erosion rates low (Lufafa et al. 2003) in coffee fields. Furthermore, bananas can provide shade for coffee and shade has been shown to be advantageous for coffee production, especially in suboptimal growth conditions (DaMatta 2004). Shade can in some instances stabilize or increase coffee yield quantity, but also quality (Beer 1987). Coffee prices for farmers increasingly depend on coffee quality (Ponte 2002). This was already the case for Arabica, but quality norms are now being developed for Robusta coffee by the Ugandan Coffee Development Agency (USAID-LEAD 2010). The limitation at farm level for a sustainable intercrop system is resource competition. Balancing this competition for light, water and nutrients between the crops is essential to optimize revenues for the smallholder farmer. Developing recommendations for sustainable intercropped systems has been identified as a major challenge in Uganda (Oduol and Aluma 1990). Despite the identified need for these recommendations, no research-based guidelines for banana/coffee intercropping exist to date in the East African highland region. Moreover, even if we further improve the knowledge on the socio-economic and biophysical advantages of intercropping coffee with banana, there are numerous studies (e.g. Adesina and Baidu-Forson 1995, Röling 2004) that have shown that successful adoption of improved agricultural technologies is only feasible if perceptions of farmers and other stakeholders on perceived benefits and constraints are taken into account. Hence, developing improved site-specific guidelines for sustainable intercropping based on economic and biophysical indicators may not be enough. Farmers subjective preferences for characteristics of new agricultural technologies are important determinants of adoption behaviour (Adesina and Baidu-Forson 1995). Farmers can expand their production by innovating autonomously but the right conditions need to be created at higher scales to extend these innovations, underlining the importance of including all stakeholders in research projects (Röling 2004). A significant advantage of the coffee/banana intercropping system is that it is based on indigenous knowledge and local coping strategies, which is beneficial for adoption (FAO 2008). In this study, we explored the conditions from farm to institutional level to see whether this technology can be improved and disseminated to help farmers in Uganda and beyond. Our objective is to capture and analyse the perceptions of various coffee stakeholders in Uganda on the benefits and constraints of coffee/banana intercropping. In order to describe and compare perceptions of the different actors, we conducted in-depth interviews following an International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability 3 interview guideline. We particularly wished to study if there are conflicts of interests or perceptions between different actors in the coffee value chain, since the successful development and deployment of improved recommendations will strongly depend on the support and institutional arrangements of all actors along this value chain (Röling 2004). 2. Materials and methods 2.1. Selection of managers Managers were defined as actors higher up in the coffee value chain and belonging to the public, private or non-profit sector. These organizations were active at the level of the smallholder farmer, the cooperatives and the washing stations/coffee warehouses (Figure 1). Managers belonging to the Ugandan Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) were also interviewed. The UCDA was established in 1991 after the liberalization of coffee. Its main role is to promote and oversee the deployment of the entire coffee subsector through support to research, propagation of clean planting materials, quality assurance, value addition and timely provision of market information to stakeholders. Coffee research is done by National Crops Resource Research Institute (NaCRRI) Coffee Research Centre (COREC). At the time of the study, several private sector and NGOs had projects at the grassroot level to ensure the stable provision of high-quality coffee to the international market, as coffee consumption within Uganda is negligible. In this context, the first manager was selected at a coffee stakeholder workshop organized in Kampala, Uganda. Then, using the snowball method for sampling, the next manager to be interviewed was identified by the previously interviewed manager (Patton 2003). Interviews were stopped when perceptions were repeated and no additional key information was provided. Consequently, a total of eight managers were selected and interviewed using this method representing one coffee authority, three research, two NGO and two private sector stakeholders Selection of extension agents In Uganda, extension for coffee by the public sector is primarily provided by the National Agricultural Advisory Services and by UCDA. Extension services can also be provided by the Figure 1. Illustration of the coffee value chain and main linkages between actors in Uganda. 4 L. Jassogne et al. private sector. In every site where farmers were interviewed, public (5) and private (3) extension agents that were active on the site were selected Selection of farmers Farmers were selected in four sites from three main coffee regions in Uganda (Figure 2). The sites described below were selected because they were part of an ongoing survey organized by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) to characterize coffee/banana intercropping systems in the different agro-ecological zones of Uganda: (a) Luwero is situated in the central region of Uganda at a mean elevation of 1135 m (low altitude). Luwero is located approximately 75 km from Kampala. It is estimated that 85% of the district population is engaged in agriculture. Due to urbanization from the proximity of Kampala, there is an increased demand of food crops in the south. The main crops include bananas, cassava, potatoes, maize and pineapples. In this region, only Robusta coffee is grown (UCC 2011a). (b) Ibanda and Bushenyi are situated in West Uganda where both Arabica and Robusta coffee are grown at mid-altitudes with mean elevation of 1578 and 1550 m, respectively (UCDA 2011). In both districts, main crops grown next to coffee are banana, beans, maize and groundnuts (UCC 2011b, 2011c). (c) Kapchorwa is situated in East Uganda where only Arabica coffee is grown (mean elevation of 2022 m). Besides coffee, the main crops grown are millet, beans, potatoes, bananas and maize (UCC 2011d). In each site, six farmers were selected, three practicing monocropping and three intercropping. They were randomly chosen among participants of participatory rural appraisals (PRA) organized in June August Each PRA had participants. During the PRA, general questions were asked about the coffee growing systems of the region, and their limitations and Figure 2. Selected districts for coffee farmer interviews in Uganda. International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability 5 opportunities. At the end of each PRA, participants were asked to indicate (i.e. by raising their hands) whether they intercropped or monocropped coffee and banana. An overview of the selected stakeholders is given in Table Interviews Each interview took between 1 h and 1 h 30 min and included a start in conversation style and a follow-up based on an interview guide (Patton 2003). To assess stakeholder perceptions, Huberman and Miles (2002) explained that in-depth analysis of a smaller number of long open-end interviews appeared more useful than a quantitative analysis of a larger number of short-structured interviews (e.g. questionnaires). With managers and extension agents, the interview guide was developed in such a way that first, the general situation of the coffee sector at present was asked. Furthermore, the history of coffee and the importance of the coffee/banana intercropping system in the region were covered. Finally, the reasons why farmers would intercrop coffee and banana and the limitations and opportunities of this system were discussed. With farmers, first, a general description of their farm was asked. Then they described the opportunities and limitations of their coffee system (monocrop or intercrop with banana) and ways to improve it. Finally, the interview went through the impact of coffee on their livelihood Analysis All conducted interviews were transcribed into a text file and encoded using the software called R-based qualitative data analysis (RQDA) (Huang 2010). A list of codes or keywords was carefully chosen and those codes were then attributed to pieces of text in the transcribed interviews. When the encoding was finished, pieces of text from all interviews belonging to one particular code could be selected and analysed. Using this technique, incentives for intercropping and monocropping were identified. After identification, the citing frequency and citing order were calculated for intercropping and monocropping separately. The citing order was calculated as follows: (i) the incentive first mentioned would receive the highest score number that was equal to the total number of incentives; (ii) every subsequent incentive mentioned would be attributed a score number 21 from the previous; (iii) the average citing order was calculated by dividing the cumulated score by the number of respondent citing the incentive. The overall rating was calculated as citing frequency times the average citing order. 3. Results 3.1. General information Results from the PRAs show that in Kapchorwa 73% of farmers intercrop. In Ibanda, 38% would intercrop, in Bushenyi 90% and in Luwero 47%. Care needs to be taken when interpreting these Table 1. Overview of actors interviewed for this study. Luwero Bushenyi Ibanda Kapchorwa Robusta Robusta Arabica Arabica Managers 8 Extension Farmers 6 L. Jassogne et al. data, as farmers practicing intercropping would sometimes also have monocropped coffee plots. From the 24 farmers interviewed, 5 farmers grew coffee as a monocrop only. Out of these five farmers, one said he would be interested in applying coffee/banana intercropping the following year; he even started digging the planting holes Incentives for intercropping In Table 2, the incentives for intercropping coffee with banana or for growing coffee monocropped are summarized together with the citation frequency, citing order and rating. We explain the perceptions on each incentive in the following sections Cash and food from same piece of land/increased income and land scarcity Farmers explained that due to land pressure their farms were small, which compelled them to intercrop banana with coffee. This also allowed them to manage risks. If one crop would fail, they would still have the other crop. For example, a Robusta farmer explained that he lost most of his coffee due to coffee wilt disease (CWD). He was obliged to intercrop the remaining coffee with banana for food security to ensure some returns from his land if more coffee trees would get infected. In Uganda, 52% of Robusta trees were killed by CWD since 1993 (UCDA 2011). Table 2. Incentives and importance ratings for coffee/banana intercropping and monocropping explained by farmers in Arabica and Robusta growing regions, extensionists and managers. Arabica (n ¼ 12) Robusta (n ¼ 12) Citing frequency and importance rating Extension (n ¼ 8) Managers (n ¼ 8) Sum (n ¼ 40) Citing order Rating Incentives for intercropping Cash and food from
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