Internship in Uganda

Promoting climate resilient seed varieties: smallholder barriers to adoption and willingness to pay for seed of drought tolerant maize varieties in Uganda.

The uptake of quality assured maize seed by smallholder farmers is persistently low, this despite the fact that this seed has a much higher yield potential and is often more drought tolerant than the varieties traditionally grown by farmers. Just over 15% of Ugandan farmers buy quality assured maize seed from the formal seed market, relying mostly on home-saved seed and low quality products from the local market. Yet maize seed is the most important product for seed companies and large (public) investments have been made to develop drought tolerant varieties.

This research project investigates the adoption for drought tolerant maize varieties that have been developed for specific agro-ecological zones in Uganda and looks into barriers for uptake of advanced seed technology, specifically focusing on downside risk. We assess the inhibiting role of downside risk with regard to productivity investments by conducting randomized control trials to test the effects of bundling drought tolerant maize seed with products/services that address barriers on willingness-to-pay and uptake of this maize seed.

This internship will focus on the question which products and/or services could remove barriers to uptake of yield enhancing technologies and stimulate demand to quality seed for drought tolerant maize varieties.
This research project is a collaboration between the Wageningen Centre For Development Innovation (CDI) in Uganda, the Development Economics Group (DEC), the CGIAR research program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), and the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences of Makerere University Uganda.

Where will you be and what will you do?

You will be based in the Wageningen Centre For Development Innovation project office in Kampala, Uganda. This office implements the ISSD Plus project (integrated Seed Sector Development)), which promotes the uptake of quality seed by smallholder farmers in Uganda. You will be part of a dynamic team. In Uganda your supervisor will be the Monitoring and Evaluation Manager. You will work closely with Astrid Mastenbroek (principal researcher) on the content of your internship.

You will spend a large part of your internship in the field engaging with farmers. The preferred period for the internship is June/July till September/October. A preparation phase in Wageningen is desired.
Based on the results from the risk spectrum analysis which is currently ongoing, we will focus on key barriers that have been identified by communities. You will explore those barriers further through a literature review and interviews with farmers and other key stakeholders. After synthesizing the results, you will support the principal researcher in developing and conducting lab-in-field experiments, which are planned for August/September.

Expected output of the internship

  • A report analyzing the results of the interviews with farmers and key stakeholders
  • Contributing to the data collection report for the field experiments
  • An internship reflection report

What are we looking for?

  • An enthusiastic and proactive MSc student in International Development Studies or Development and Rural Innovation
  • Affinity with agriculture, and in particular small scale farming systems
  • Proficiency in spoken and written English
  • Experience (holiday, travel, (voluntary) work) in East Africa is a strong advantage

What do we provide?

  • Return ticket to Uganda
  • Visa costs
  • Stipend to cover basic cost of living in Uganda