Factors influencing the adoption of agricultural practices in Ghana's forest-fringe communities

Acheampong, Emmanuel Opoku, Sayer, Jeffrey, Macgregor, Colin J., and Sloan, Sean (2021) Factors influencing the adoption of agricultural practices in Ghana's forest-fringe communities. Land, 10 (3). 266.

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Two-thirds of rural Ghanaians are farmers, and farming is almost the only income source for Ghana's forest-fringe communities. Some farmers adopt some agricultural practices to augment their operations while others do not. We examined the factors that influence farmers' adoption and intensity of adoption of agricultural practices, namely, chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, improved seeds, animal manure, and crop rotation. We surveyed the agricultural systems and livelihoods of 291 smallholder households in forest-fringe communities and developed a multivariate model (canonical correlation analysis) to test the degree to which social, economic, and institutional factors correlate with adoption and intensity of adoption of the above practices. We found that 35.4% of the farmers do not adopt any of the practices because they perceive them to be expensive, not useful, and difficult to adopt. The rest (64.6%) adopt at least one of the practices to control weeds, pests and diseases, and consequently increase crop yields. Our results indicate that farmers that perceive the aforementioned practices to be more beneficial, cultivate multiple plots, and have access to extension services adopt more of the practices. Farmer age and distance to source of inputs negatively correlate with adoption and intensity of adoption of agricultural practices. Almost two-thirds each of adopters and non-adopters do not have access to agricultural extension services and this could pose threats to the sustainability of the forest reserves within and around which the farmers cultivate. Educating farmers on agricultural practices that are forest-friendly is critical in the forest-fringe communities of Ghana. The correct application of practices could double outputs and minimize threats to forests and biodiversity through land-sparing.

Item ID: 70504
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2073-445X
Keywords: Agricultural education, Farm intensification, Farming systems, Forest-fringe communi-ties, Rural Ghana
Copyright Information: Copyright: © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Date Deposited: 08 Nov 2021 01:10
FoR Codes: 30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3002 Agriculture, land and farm management > 300202 Agricultural land management @ 50%
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410404 Environmental management @ 50%
SEO Codes: 18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1806 Terrestrial systems and management > 180601 Assessment and management of terrestrial ecosystems @ 100%
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