Vanilla is a major cash crop in the coffee – banana zone in central Uganda. Vanilla Fragrens V. planifolia is the variety grown in Uganda. The vanilla industry in Uganda has been characterised by production variations notably after the 2003 price boom.

These production variations could be attributed to variations in vanilla prices and varying socio-economic characteristics of the vanilla farmers. In order to verify these assertions with an aim to enhance adoption and contribute to improving the household incomes of the rural poor, a study was carried out in Mukono district to establish the factors affecting the adoption, disadoption and re-adoption of vanilla.

A total of 240 of vanilla farmers were interviewed and these were selected using the clustered sampling method in the categories of Adopters, Disadopters and Re-adopters. 80 vanilla farmers were randomly selected to represent each of these clusters. Results revealed that vanilla farmers are characterised by small land holding (3 acres), small vanilla fields (1 acre), big household sizes (7 people) and the majority of the farmers were less educated with 21% of the farmers having had no formal education and 44% of the farmers having attained only primary education.

The results also revealed that adoption of vanilla growing was positively influenced by the farmer’s education level and the availability of income to hire extra labour. Farmers’ age also influenced adoption of vanilla growing whereby both Disadopters and Re-adopters were significantly older than the Adopters at 1% and 5% respectively.

The negative risk perceptions relating to vanilla production, price and market of both Disadopters and Re-adopters significantly influenced the disadoption of vanilla. It was therefore recommended that efforts to promote vanilla adoption should aim at changing the negative risk perceptions about vanilla farming and should target young farmers because these are more likely to adopt new technologies. In addition, it was recommended that vanilla processing plants be built in vanilla producing districts so as to minimise vanilla market and price risks.