Journal of
Development and Agricultural Economics

  • Abbreviation: J. Dev. Agric. Econ.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-9774
  • DOI: 10.5897/JDAE
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 552

Full Length Research Paper

Impact evaluation of an agricultural input subsidy to mitigate COVID-19 effects on small holder farmers: A case of Uganda

Proscovia Renzaho Ntakyo
  • Proscovia Renzaho Ntakyo
  • Faculty of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, Department of Agri-Business and Natural Resource Economics, Kabale University, P. O. Box 317, Kabale Uganda.
  • Google Scholar
Johnny Mugisha
  • Johnny Mugisha
  • School of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Agribusiness and Natural Resource Economics, P. O. Box 7062, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda.
  • Google Scholar
Robert Bangizi
  • Robert Bangizi
  • Faculty of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Mountains of the Moon University, P. O. Box 837, Fort Portal, Uganda.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 06 March 2024
  •  Accepted: 26 March 2024
  •  Published: 31 May 2024


The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic shocked most economic activities, including agriculture and food production, with limited access to key inputs such as labor, seeds, fertilizer, and other agrochemicals. Food marketing and trade were equally disrupted as cash flows, liquidity, and credit access were constrained. Different countries, organizations, and households improvised various strategies and measures to mitigate the shocks in the food value chain that would have had far-reaching implications. In Uganda, one international organization, the Agricultural Business Initiative (aBi), supported a project titled “Building the Resilience of Smallholder Farmers through Increasing Access to Agro-Inputs” to safeguard the production, trade, and processing of key food staples. This paper assesses the contribution of such emergency projects and draws lessons for similar future interventions. Cross-sectional data collected was used from project beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries as a control group and employ propensity score matching techniques to measure the project's impact. Results show a significant positive impact of the project intervention on crop yields and household crop income. The study recommends partnerships with local government extension workers for promoting sustainability and scaling out. Future similar projects could target to support farmers based on individual capacity in terms of resources, especially land, instead of providing uniform support which may exclude some farmers.

Key words: Agro-inputs subsidy, COVID-19, evaluation, propensity score matching.