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University of Ghana (2000)

Economic Analysis of Soil Conservation Practices in Northern Ghana

Fearon, J.

Titre : Economic Analysis of Soil Conservation Practices in Northern Ghana

Auteur : Fearon, J.

Université de soutenance : University of Ghana

Grade : Master of Philosophy (MPhil) 2000

Résumé
This study was carried out in some parts of the Northern and Upper East regions of Ghana with the objective of identifying the traditional soil conservation options available to farmers in the area. The study subsequently assessed the economics of the use of stone bunds as a conservation technology. To achieve the above objectives structured questionnaires were administered in selected villages from the East and West Mamprusi districts in the Northern region and the Bolgatanga district in the Upper East region. Descriptive statistics and a partial budget analytical tools were employed here. In Northern Ghana high intensity rains, extensive land clearing and tree felling for fuel wood, overgrazing, uncontrolled burning of bush, poor farming practices and population pressures have resulted in severe erosion problems. The gradual soil degradation has affected crop productivity. Stone bunding, Ridging, and Crop residue management are some techniques that fanners have adopted to check soil erosion. Among the numerous fertility restoring methods, Composting, mulching, crop residue management and shifting cultivation are those currently being used by farmers. Others include the use of crop rotation, household refuse, animal/farmyard manure and fertilizer. Results of the partial budget analysis for the use of stone bunding indicate that an additional benefit of 03,122,860.00 was realized by putting in 35 extra man-days at a total cost of 0374,150.00. In other words, it is worth adopting this strategy where possible since the profitability ratio of 9.3 is substantial. A more participatory approach to extension programme formulation and implementation is therefore recommended since farmers are already aware of the problems.

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