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Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel (2021)

Socioeconomic Assessments of Organic Fertilizer Use Among Smallholder Farmers in Northern Ghana

Daadi, Bunbom Edward

Titre : Socioeconomic Assessments of Organic Fertilizer Use Among Smallholder Farmers in Northern Ghana

Auteur : Daadi, Bunbom Edward

Université de soutenance : Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

Grade : Doktor 2021

Résumé partiel
Food insecurity and poverty continue to be major challenges for human development in Sub-Saharan Africa due to low agricultural productivity, linked to deteriorating soil conditions and inappropriate agrarian technologies. Green revolutionary measures, particularly increasing mineral fertilizer application, have always been proposed as natural remedies for resolving the yield crisis. However, Sub-Saharan African farmers face a myriad of challenges regarding mineral fertilizer use amid poorly developed input markets. Moreover, recent advances made towards fertilizer access in countries like Ghana have shown that merely increasing mineral fertilizer application is no panacea to African’s farm productivity crisis, where arable lands have degraded. Meanwhile, organic fertilizers play a significant role in improving soil conditions for effective mineral fertilizer use. Thus, the focus on fertilizer use has shifted towards combining mineral with organic fertilizers for improved soil health and productivity. Towards this goal, agricultural development agencies in Northern Ghana, for the past decade, have been priming farmers to access and use more organic fertilizers, but the input’s use remains low for many reasons, including a general lack of biomass in the area. This study explored rural farmers’ motivations, decisions and behaviors regarding organic fertilizer use in the northeastern part of Ghana. It thus contributes insights from farmers’ perspectives to the growing literature on organic-inorganic fertilizer use debate in Sub-Saharan Africa. Specifically, the study first examined observed farmer-decisions to identify decision trajectories (management approaches) that lead rural farm households to organic fertilizer use and related the decision classes to farmers’ socioeconomic factors, including farm-resource base, using seemingly unrelated regressions to adjust for correlations between decisions. Second, it evaluated behavioral costs (difficulty) associated with prevailing organic practices and scaled farmers’ attitudes towards organic fertilizer use, using the explanatory Rasch model to account for influences of farmer-characteristic difference on the scale. Third, following the potential outcome framework, an endogenous switching regression is employed to control for observed and unobserved organic fertilizer use selectivity as well as endogeneity biases while examining the input’s effects on per capita food expenditure, food gap, and farm labor use. The final part of the study evaluated the possibility for municipal solid waste compost producers to market their products to rural farmers in Northern Ghana. Applying the generalized multinomial logit model on choice experimental data, the study account for preference and scale-heterogeneity and estimated farmers’ willingness to pay for attributes of a hypothetical municipal waste compost.

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