IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Implications of Rainfall Shocks for Household Income and Consumption in Uganda

Listed author(s):
  • John Bosco Asiimwe
  • Paul Mpuga
Registered author(s):

    Much of Uganda’s agricultural production activities are rain-fed, meaning that changes in weather conditions have important implications for households’ total agricultural production and wellbeing. This study uses a basic model of household production to assess the impact of rainfall shocks (using rainfall variability) on farm income and consumption expenditure and the response of households to such shocks. Pooled cross sectional data of farm households are derived from the Uganda National Household Surveys for 1992/93, 1999/2000 and 2002/03, which provide a rich source of information on individual and household characteristics (size, age, sex, education, employment, etc.), household income, expenditure, and exposure to risk/shocks. Rainfall statistics are obtained from various issues of the Statistical Abstracts and the Background to the Budget. We show that rainfall shocks have important implications for both income and consumption of households, with strong policy implications towards cushioning agricultural households. Higher than average rainfall in the first planting and first harvest seasons is found to result in lower incomes and consumption. Given that about 40% of Uganda’s total output is obtained from rain-fed agriculture, the impact of rainfall variability on household welfare has important implications for national income. It is also noted that other factors such as ownership of land, education of the household head and household size are important in the determination of household welfare. Community characteristics such as access to electricity, markets and infrastructure in general play a very important role in the welfare of agricultural households. Programmes to protect households against rainfall shocks such as irrigation schemes, storage facilities for dry produce, staggered planting and crop diversification can provide helpful avenues to reduce income variability among agricultural households. In order to reduce welfare variability and poverty in general, it is necessary to continue the focus on education and targeting of poor and vulnerable households in terms of access to education, health care and other welfare programmes. Access to land has strong implications for both income and consumption - households with access to larger land areas are likely to have higher incomes and higher consumption expenditures - suggesting that land policies to improve access are needed so as to enhance incomes of agricultural households.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by African Economic Research Consortium in its series Research Papers with number RP_168 Key words: Farm households, income, consumption expenditure, shocks, rainfall variability.

    in new window

    Length: 46 pages
    Date of creation: Jul 2007
    Handle: RePEc:aer:rpaper:rp_168
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    P.O. Box 62882, Nairobi

    Phone: (254-2) 228057
    Fax: (254-2) 219308
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aer:rpaper:rp_168. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Steven Kinuthia)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.