In line with economic conditions in 2008 and the need to boost agricultural productivity and stabilize agricultural commodity prices, the government of Ghana instituted a nationwide fertilizer subsidy program. This study analyzes the determinants of access to the Ghana Fertilizer Subsidy Program (GFSP). The paper uses cross-sectional data collected from 352 farmers in four districts in Ghana. To achieve the main objective of the study, probit and tobit models are used. This study reveals that access to the GFSP is still low (42.6%) despite the government’s increasing budgetary allocation into subsidy provision over the years. The results of the probit and the tobit models indicate that access to the GFSP is largely determined by farmers’ gender and political influence. It also reveals that the subsidy program does not crowd out private fertilizer retailers as farmers who buy more quantities from the commercial market are less likely to be allocated subsidy passbooks. It is therefore recommended that discrimination against women should be minimized to encourage their participation in agriculture and empower them to bring to the fore their potentials. Also, the government must encourage more private fertilizer retailers to establish sales points at vantage places to improve access to fertilizer.
Aims: To characterize betel leaf farmers and compare their socioeconomic attributes with non-betel leaf farmers in the Teknaf peninsula, Bangladesh.
Study Design: Primary data were used in this study, which were collected by using a structured interview schedule. Information on socioeconomic attributes of betel leaf and non-betel leaf farmers were collected.
Place and Duration of Study: This study was conducted in the Marishbuni and Jahajpura villages of the Teknaf peninsula, Bangladesh from March 2010 to March 2011.
Methodology: A total of 322 households were surveyed in 2010 and 2011 using a structured questionnaire by categorizing them into three groups, namely betel leaf cultivation as main occupation (BL-M), betel leaf cultivation as optional (BL-O) and non-betel leaf cultivator (BL-NC).
Results: Betel leaf farmers are mostly middle aged (45 years) having large family size (7 persons) and low literacy rate. Most of the households (81.9, 66.7 and 55.9% for BL-M, BL-O and BL-NC, respectively) are found in forest areas of which many of them are illegal. Although income from betel leaf farming accounts a large portion of household income for both BL-M and BL-O groups, the annual income of BL-M is distinctly lower than the other two groups. Income from betel leaf cultivation was significantly correlated with farm size (0.133*) and betel leaf cultivating area (0.556**).
Conclusion: Many people are living in the forest illegally and cultivating betel leaf. Although betel leaf farming is profitable for the farmers, their socioeconomic status is lower than non-betel leaf farmers.
This study analyzed the profitability of timber trade and examined its effects on poverty in Benue State. Multistage sampling technique, purposive sampling at 30% sampling intensity and complete enumeration were applied to determine the study sample. Out of the 23 LGAs of the state, seven (7) LGAs were sampled. Thus, 160, 73 and 13 respondents from timber traders, chainsaw millers, and sawmillers adding up to 246 were randomly selected and interviewed to elicit data. Data collected were collated and analyzed using few descriptive statistics. Gross margin analysis (GM), Rate of Return on Investment (RORI), Gross Ratio and (GR) were used in determining the profitability and effectiveness of timber trade in the study area. A mean monthly Gross Margin of N85,740, N320,570, and N275,080 was recorded by timber traders in zones A, B and C respectively. Similarly, Rates of Return on Investment were 22.13, 34.27 and 31.52. Also, chainsaw millers GM were; N39,688, N128,730, N84,480 with corresponding RORI of; 84.19, 43.93, 61.80. In the same order the GM of sawmillers were N320,130, N136,000 and N407,540 with RORI of; 87.17,42.90,63.93 were recorded in zones A, B and C respectively. This indicates that timber trade is a viable enterprise in Benue State; therefore sustainable management is pertinent for continuous supply of the resource base.
Rice is considered as the second most important staple food crop in Ghana and it is produced mainly by small-scale farmers. Rice production in Ghana meets only 30 to 40 percent of the total demand. The need to increase local rice production is essential, hence this study was designed to identify and analyze the socioeconomic factors that influence rice production among small-scale farmers in the Shama-Ahanta East District of Ghana in order to enhance production. Using structured questionnaire, a multistage sampling procedure was used to collect data from 320 rice farmers. Data were subjected to descriptive and Tobit regression analysis. The results show a relatively low level output of 1.05 ton/ha among rice farmers, of whom 73% were males. Significant socioeconomic factors found to influence rice production include age, gender, educational level, household size, household income, and access to agricultural extension services. Training and empowering more agricultural Extension Agents and the development of policies to enhance female farmers involvement in rice production is recommended.
Poverty incidence in Nigeria is higher among the rural-folks, that is, households that rely mainly on fundamentally on agricultural income. This study investigated poverty status of farm households in selected Local Government areas of Niger State, Nigeria. The study utilized data obtained from administering questionnaire to 287 farming households. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, and Foster-Greer and Thorbecke poverty index (FGT). The study revealed that mean age, household size, and farm size of the respondents were 42, 7, and 2.82 respectively. A total of 46.4% of the respondents had no formal education and only 12.9% had attained formal education up to the tertiary level. Majority, i.e 94.8% had no access to credit. Results of the Foster-Greer and Thorbecke poverty index analysis revealed that 25.1% of the respondents were poor with 0.56 and 0.37 as their poverty depth and severity respectively. The study recommend that the minimum cost of eliminating poverty using targeted transfers with poverty gap index should be one of the yard stick use for conditional money transfer by the Millennium Development Goals office which will serve as savings to the poverty alleviation budget.
This paper analyzed maize production efficiency in Ghana due to differences in efficiency. The stochastic frontier model with flexible risk properties is applied with 232 farms from the Brong-Ahafo Region. Findings of the study were the translog model best fits the mean output function, whilst the input variables: seed, herbicide, land, labour and cost of intermediate inputs influenced maize output at decreasing returns to scale. The study also found seed and labor inputs reduced production risk, whilst land and cost of intermediate inputs increased the risk. The average technical efficiency estimate was 62% and the combined farm specific factors explained the variation in technical efficiency. This study concludes, on the average 38% of potential output is lost due to technical inefficiency and production risk in inputs and the use of the best farm practices produce maize efficiently.