Presentation Title

Crop Diversity, Land Tenure Security, and Women’s Empowerment in Rural Uganda

Abstract

On-farm crop diversity, land tenure security, and food and income security have long been a focus of development researchers and practitioners. A new NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Site at the University of Vermont provides an opportunity for eight US students from diverse backgrounds to conduct mentored inter-disciplinary agricultural development research in Uganda. In partnership with Bioversity International, an international research organization that provides data-driven solutions to challenges around agriculture, nutrition, and the environment, we examine detailed microdata on the household, farm, and community characteristics associated with agricultural productivity and well-being in Ugandan small-scale farm communities. To date I have begun analyzing data from the Living Standards Measurement Study (LSMS) in Uganda from 2015-2016, with a focus on land tenure, crop choices, and women’s empowerment metrics. My research asks under what conditions might customary tenure and other complex property rights institutions be associated with positive livelihood outcomes, particularly for women farmers, in rural Uganda? In addition to considering study ramifications for wider policy discussions surrounding land rights in East Africa, my work is also generating data analysis tutorials that future undergraduate REU Site participants can use to further explore these and other broader agricultural development questions.

Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Dr. Travis W. Reynolds

Secondary Mentor Name

Dr. Daniel Tobin

Status

Graduate

Student College

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Program/Major

Community Development and Applied Economics

Primary Research Category

Social Sciences

Secondary Research Category

Arts & Humanities

Tertiary Research Category

Food & Environment Studies

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Crop Diversity, Land Tenure Security, and Women’s Empowerment in Rural Uganda

On-farm crop diversity, land tenure security, and food and income security have long been a focus of development researchers and practitioners. A new NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Site at the University of Vermont provides an opportunity for eight US students from diverse backgrounds to conduct mentored inter-disciplinary agricultural development research in Uganda. In partnership with Bioversity International, an international research organization that provides data-driven solutions to challenges around agriculture, nutrition, and the environment, we examine detailed microdata on the household, farm, and community characteristics associated with agricultural productivity and well-being in Ugandan small-scale farm communities. To date I have begun analyzing data from the Living Standards Measurement Study (LSMS) in Uganda from 2015-2016, with a focus on land tenure, crop choices, and women’s empowerment metrics. My research asks under what conditions might customary tenure and other complex property rights institutions be associated with positive livelihood outcomes, particularly for women farmers, in rural Uganda? In addition to considering study ramifications for wider policy discussions surrounding land rights in East Africa, my work is also generating data analysis tutorials that future undergraduate REU Site participants can use to further explore these and other broader agricultural development questions.