African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6693

Full Length Research Paper

The role of rural producer organizations in enhancing market participation of smallholder farmers in Uganda: Enabling and disabling factors

  E. L.  Ampaire1,2*, C. L. Machethe1,3 and E. Birachi4  
  1Department of Agriculture Economics, Extension and Rural Development, University of Pretoria, LEVLO, Pretoria 0002, South Africa. 2International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), P. O. Box 6247, Kampala Uganda. 3Post Graduate School of Agriculture and Rural Development, University of Pretoria, LEVLO, Pretoria 0002, South Africa. 4International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), P. O. Box 1269, Kigali, Rwanda.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 18 March 2013
  •  Published: 31 March 2013



The study investigates the factors influencing the effectiveness of second-tier rural producer organizations (RPOs) in linking their members to output markets in Uganda. The percentage of farmers who sold some of their produce through the RPO was used as a proxy for effectiveness. Ordinary least squares (OLS) regression analysis indicated that RPO effectiveness was positively related to the size of a RPO and democratic leadership. On the other hand, the proportion of RPO leaders with leadership training, enforcement of internal control practices, bulking distance and size of executive committee had a significant negative effect on the effectiveness of such organizations. It was concluded that improving the effectiveness of RPOs required the (i) use of numerous sub-committee instead of many all-member meetings and smaller executive committees; (ii) dedication, respect and commitment by leaders of RPOs when imparting skills learnt in order to boost members’ morale; (iii) devising reward systems for leaders or putting in place stringent rules, such as leadership codes, to guide leader behaviour so as to prevent conflict of interest and possible elite capture; and (iv) policies guiding Savings and Credit Cooperatives (SACCOs) lending conditions be reviewed to match rural producers’ economic status and seasonality of enterprises.


Key words: Marketing rural producer organizations (RPOs), RPO effectiveness, smallholder farmers, market participation, Uganda.