African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6576

Full Length Research Paper

An analysis of the extent and determinants of crop diversification by cocoa (Theobroma cacao) farmers in Ghana

Aneani, F., Anchirinah, V. M., Owusu-Ansah, F. and Asamoah, M.
Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana, Social Science and Statistics Unit, P. O. Box 8, New Tafo-Akim, Ghana.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 16 August 2011
  •  Published: 12 September 2011

Abstract

Agricultural diversification into non-traditional export crops has long been recognized as an important strategy by the Government to increase and stabilize export earnings for sustainable economic development and farmers’ incomes. The main purpose of this study, therefore, was to analyze the extent and determinants of crop diversification by cocoa farmers to inform policy makers for policy adjustment. A socio-economic survey was conducted in six (6) cocoa growing districts (Nkawie, Goaso, Enchi, Oda, Twifo Praso/Assin Fosu and Hohoe) from March to May, 2006. A random sample of 300 cocoa farmers in the study areas was selected, using the multi-stage sampling approach and personally interviewed with a standard structured questionnaire because of low educational status of the farmers. The study demonstrated that cocoa farmers have diversified cocoa cultivation to some extent into growing other crops such as oil palm, citrus, cassava, cocoyam, etc. to expand their sources of income. This was confirmed by Simpson Index of diversification estimated to be 0.9. The proportions of farmers diversifying into other crops alongside cocoa were: 36.3% diversified into one crop, 26.7% cultivated two additional crops, 16.0%, three or more crops and 21.0% focused only on cocoa cultivation. The multinomial regression analysis suggested that age of cocoa farm, access to credit and cocoa growing region (Western, Brong-Ahafo and Central) were statistically significant (P < 0.05) determinants of cocoa farming diversification. It is recommended that Government should sustain cocoa production by convincing farmers to replant old cocoa farms and modernize traditional cocoa farming practices; improve access to credit facilities for farmers; and develop alternative livelihood improvement strategies of other crops in addition to cocoa for farmers.  

 

Key words: Agriculture, diversification, survey, cocoa, farmers, Ghana.