Thumbnail Image

The impact of the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices on farm income and household food security in Northern Ghana : A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy at Lincoln University

Setsoafia, Edinam Dope
Fields of Research
ANZSRC::3801 Applied economics , ANZSRC::3002 Agriculture, land and farm management , ANZSRC::300210 Sustainable agricultural development
The adoption of sustainable agricultural practices (SAPs) has been recommended by many experts and international institutions to address food security and climate change issues. Global support for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has focused attention on efforts to up scale the use of SAPs in developing countries where growth in populations and incomes is compromising the resilience of natural resources. However, little is known about the effects of these practices in West Africa. Therefore, this thesis sets out to investigate the factors that influence the adoption of SAPs by smallholders in northern Ghana and the effects of adoption on farm income and food security. The study achieved this by (i) Comparing food security measures and investigating the determinants of household food security (HFS); (ii) Investigating the factors that influence smallholder farmers’ decisions to adopt multiple SAPs;(iii) Estimating the impacts of SAPs adoption on the gross margins and food security status of smallholder farmers; and (iv) Examining the heterogeneous effect of SAPs adoption and its impact on food security of smallholders in northern Ghana. This thesis utilizes different econometric approaches to achieve the targeted objectives. Specifically, seven measures of household food security, spearman’s rho correlation, percentages and a probit regression were used in achieving objective (i). The multinomial endogenous switching regression and the marginal treatment effects model were used in realizing the objectives (ii), (iii) and (iv). Primary data covering 494 households were collected and used in the analysis of objectives (i) and (iv). Secondary data from the Africa RISING project covering 1284 households and 5500 plots were used to estimate objectives (ii) and (iii). The thesis’s results revealed strong correlations between food consumption score (FCS) and household dietary diversity(HDD), between household food insecurity access scale (HFIAS), household hunger score (HHS), coping strategy index (CSI) and reduced coping strategy index (rCSI), and between self-assessed food security (SAFS) and HFIAS. Food insecurity prevalence varied across the measures with HDD giving the least prevalence whilst FCS and HFIAS gave the highest prevalence of food insecurity. Social demographics of the households, plot characteristics, location, extension, satisfaction with extension, and membership in AfricaRISING farmer-based organisation (FBO) were the main factors influencing the adoption of multiple SAPs. Results from the treatment effect estimations indicated that adopting SAPs had a positive influence on farm income and food security, and farmers adopting improved seeds, fertilizer use and soil and water conservation practices simultaneously, appear to benefit more than their counterparts adopting individual SAPs. The results indicated positive selection on gains from adoption across both HDD and FCS, suggesting that households who are more likely to adopt SAPs usually benefit more in terms of food security from adoption. Our findings suggest that the adoption of multiple SAPs and their impacts on farm income and food security in Northern Ghana can be improved through interventions and policies that advocate the adoption of multiple SAPs, provide input subsidies, improve extension service, and encourage farmer group membership, and engagement in off-farm work
Source DOI
Creative Commons Rights
Access Rights