The DEGRP project, Behavioural economic analysis of agricultural investment, led by Arjan Verschoor and Ben D’Exelle from the University of East Anglia hosted a policy dialogue in Kampala on June 11th 2015.
The research has explored small-scale farmers’ perceptions of risk in eastern Uganda. It found that poor and vulnerable farmers were understandably reluctant to take the risk of investing in better seed and fertiliser, or cash crops. Taking those results, the team of Arjan, Ben and Joshua Balungira have conducted a lengthy and innovative stakeholder engagement to co-create policy recommendations to help Ugandan smallholder farmers better manage the risks to their agricultural investments.
Beginning locally, leaders of farmers groups, agricultural extensionists and District Agricultural Officers were invited to discuss the project’s findings and develop a provisional set of 15 recommendations. These were then discussed with national stakeholders from the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries and non-government organisations. This helped whittle the recommendations down to seven — covering index insurance, warehouse receipts, fertiliser and agricultural extension. The final stage — the policy dialogue in Kampala — saw over eighty senior officials from government, donors, research, non-government and consultancy organisations discuss the recommendations in detail and advise on how to improve them.
Feedback from the policy dialogue will help develop the final set of recommendations, filtered above all by consideration of their feasibility. The project is now seeking to engage one or two ‘policy brokers’ to help build links with local organisations that can take the recommendations forwards.
Read Economic Journal: Investment Behaviour, Risk Sharing and Social Distance