Undergraduates Research

MUCCRI Undergraduate Students' Research

Research at MUCCRI Through partnership with NARO and the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA-Uganda) and with funding from USAID, MUCCRI is offering both financial and technical support to a series of graduate students (both MSc and PhD) research efforts as well as research experiences for undergraduates. The research efforts for graduate students are focused on a range of research topics that have been identified and agreed upon with the partners. The different research topics for MSc and PhD covered by the graduate students include the following:

MScs to generate agro-meteorological climate-risk analyses to inform decision-making at national, community, and farm level MScs to assess what policies affect farmers’ vulnerability and adaptive capacity at the local level through stakeholder engagement, so as to create awareness, empower the farming community and trigger behavioral change of local policy actors.

PhD on climate-smart Robusta coffee: understanding the biophysical and economic challenges and opportunities at plot level. PhD on climate change adaptation, climate smart technologies: Overcoming drought stress in key food crops, combining drought-tolerant germplasm with evaluating technologies for conserving, collecting, and supplying water. PhD on climate change adaptation at household and community level – diversification or specialization and the implications of control over assets.

Completed Undergraduate Students' Research

Ecosystem Based Adaptation: Opportunities and Constraints For Drought Adaptation By Agro- Pastoral Farmers In Nakasongola District, Uganda

Research Description:

Drought and its characteristics extended period of moisture deficiency, greatly affects the small holder agro-pastoral farmers, especially in the developing countries whose livelihood principally develops on the natural resources based coupled with minimum application external farm inputs (Keil et al,2008;Fisher et al, 2015).


Completed Undergraduate Students' Research

Research 1: The role of farmer field schools in Climate Change Adaptation.

Research Description:

This research was aimed at studying the role that Farmer Field Schools play in helping farmers adapt to Climate Change in Kiboga District. The study was carried out in three sub-counties of Kapeke, Bukomero and Dwaniro where there is a great number of Farmer Field Schools (FFS), thereby targeting both FFS members and non-FFS members. Farming, more than any other source of livelihood is more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change given that its production in Uganda largely depends on climate.

The main objective of the study was to evaluate the role that Farmer Field Schools can play in helping farming communities adapt to Climate Change in Kiboga District for purposes of providing information to government and donor agencies to further develop climate change adaptation approaches suitable for the local farmers. The specific objectives were to assess the effects of Climate Change and Variability on the livelihoods of farmers in Kiboga district; the challenges faced by farmers when adapting to Climate Change; and the role of Farmer Field Schools in helping farmers in Kiboga district deal with Climate Change impacts. Random sampling was used in areas with FFS members and non-FFS members to get the difference between FFS members and non-members in terms of their adaptability to the impacts of Climate Change. Both interviews using questionnaires and focus group discussions were used to obtain the data.

Crop and livestock farming are the major livelihood sources of the farmers in the district and are the most affected by the climate change hazards experienced. The major effects of climate change impacts on livelihood activities of the farmers are decrease in income, decrease in food availability and increased disease incidences for human; crop failure, reduced crop yields; reduction in animal yields, loss of animals and loss of water and pasture. Major challenges faced by farmers when dealing with the various climate change impacts are lack of money to buy the necessary equipment and inputs, long distances travelled to collect water, lack of skilled labor to carry out the various adaptation techniques, limited time to make preparations, low prices from selling animals, low yields at harvest and loss of planting materials in storage. FFS prove to be effective in helping farmers adapt to climate change since FFS members adopt most of their adaptation responses from their respective Farmer Field Schools. It is therefore recommended to make climate change adaptation a major topic in FFS training content to equip farmers with the necessary adaptation techniques. Farmers should also be advised to shift to off-farm livelihood sources such as tailoring, trading and crafts making. Lastly, climate change adaptation approaches should be increasingly incorporated into development strategies of government and donors to further develop improved agricultural technologies and make them locally available to the farmers.

Contact person
Name: Nankya Ann Maria


Research 2: Contribution of Agroforestry on Climate Change Resilience in Kamuli District.


Research Description:

This study assessed the contribution of agroforestry on climate change resilience in Kamuli district. Specifically, the study evaluated climate trends, incidences and drought impacts, assessed agroforestry systems practiced by local communities and how these contributed to drought resilience and identified the traditional techniques of dealing with drought by farmers in Kamuli district. Data was collected using both open and closed ended questionnaires, individual interviews and observation of the agroforestry systems.

The observations confirmed the changes in the planting seasons, impacts of drought on crops and animals. Farmers reported observing changes in onset of rain seasons, particularly the first rains that are normally expected early March and increase in the periods of drought occurrence. Changes in the rain season has resulted into low crop output, low crop quality and water scarcity. Farmers in Kamuli practice various agroforestry systems, such as agrisilviculture, taungya, silvopastoral, agrosilvopastoral. The incorporation of trees on farm has contributed to drought resilience through improving on soil fertility, alternative source of food and shade for crops and animals.

The commonest traditional technique in dealing with drought in Kamuli district was water harvesting using locally materials like drums and growing drought resistant crops like cassava.

Contacts Name: Zakia

Research 2: Contribution of Agroforestry on Climate Change Resilience in Kamuli District.


Research Description:

The study was a descriptive survey done in two sub-counties of Kayonza and Itojo which are representative sample for the lager area of Ntungamo district affected by drought. The study analyzed the Economic Contribution of Local Knowledge in Adaptation to Drought By Farmers in Ntungamo District. It investigated the socio-economic effects of drought on local farmers, the various adaptation measure taken by farmers to lessen negative drought impacts, examined the influence of selected socio-economic characteristics of farmers on their choice of adaptation measures.

Multistage random sampling technique was used to select 100 respondents for the study. The research was carried out with the use of well-structured questionnaire (interview) scheduled to obtain the necessary data. Both descriptive and inferential analytical tools were employed. A logistic regression model was employed to investigate the determinants of farmers’ choices of adaptation strategy while cost benefit was used to carry out economic evaluation of these adaptation strategies.

The empirical results revealed adaptation measures used by farmers are; planting of drought resistant varieties, switching crops, irrigation, crop rotation, mulching, early planting and intercropping and looking for alternative source of income. Of these mulching had a highest NPV of 3380 thousand of shillings at 5% discount rate Age, income, land size, agricultural training and Perceptions of household head towards drought significantly influenced the choice of households of adaptation strategies at 5% significance level. Sex of household head access to loans and extension services and education level of household head did not significantly influence the choice of households when adapting to drought. It is expected that this study can help policy makers to develop more appropriate drought adaptation policies in Ntungamo District. From the results, it is recommended that households should do mulching mainly of pineapples if they are to maximize their profits. The government should provide irrigation system, strengthen extension services and modernize water harvesting systems.

Contacts Name: Ahabwe Andrew


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