The Dynamics of Household Labor allocation to Biogas production, Farm and Non-farm activities in Central Uganda
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Biogas is a sustainable energy that contributes to improved health and provides socio-economic benefits. However, biogas production has an impact on an essential household resource; labor. Therefore, households need to efficiently allocate labor to activities on the farm, off-farm and for biogas production. There is little empirical evidence on the factors influencing labor allocation within farm households, thus limiting biogas technology promoters from creating a favorable environment for uptake. This study fills this gap. Data were obtained from households with biogas digesters in central Uganda through a snow-balling sampling technique. A household model was used, and labor share equations were estimated by a Seemingly Unrelated Regression model. Own activity labor returns showed a positive relationship to the respective labor share, but cross-labor returns were negatively related. Female-headed households were more likely to allocate labor to biogas activities. Distance to water source had a negative impact on labor allocation to biogas activities, while the number of cattle owned by the household had a positive impact. Age of the household head and household size had a positive impact on labor allocation to non-farm activities. Household labor should be critically analyzed before investing in biogas digesters to increase the success of the technology.