Characterisation of Rice Production Systems in Northern Agro-Ecological Zone, Uganda
Rice growing is an important source of food and income to the farming community in the northern agro-ecological zone (NAEZ) of Uganda. NAEZ comprised of 16 districts which form Acholi and Lango sub-regions and it is categorized by tropical dry climate with bimodal rainfall patterns. However, inspite of the importance of rice in the NAEZ, very little information exists that could support prioritization of development in the sector. This paper therefore, bridges information gap by analyzing characteristics of rice production system in the study area based on data obtained from a field survey conducted during 2016. The study used cross-sectional design to collect data which was analysed using the descriptive statistics of the STATA computer package. The results revealed marked difference in households’ characteristics, production output and input utilization, production practices and constraints between lowland and upland systems. The study has concluded that: climate variability, pest and diseases, lack of improved seed variety, labour related constraints and lack of specialization are potential causes of low rice production and productivity in the NAEZ. However, to improve production performance of the systems, the study recommends promotion of climate smart farming in rice and further research into system based effects of climate on productivity as well as farmers’ adaptation to climate variability.