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University of Ghana (2000)

The Determinants of Adoption, and Impact of Improved Sorghum Varieties in the Upper-West Region, Ghana

Jatoe, J.B.D.

Titre : The Determinants of Adoption, and Impact of Improved Sorghum Varieties in the Upper-West Region, Ghana

Auteur : Jatoe, J.B.D.

Université de soutenance : University of Ghana

Grade : Master of Philosophy (MPhil) 2000

Résumé
The production of sorghum, one of the most important food crops with multiple uses in the savanna zone of Ghana, has been bedeviled with several problems. The most important ’ problems are low yields, lack of improved varieties and striga infestation. These problems led to research efforts at the Savanna Agricultural Research Institute to produce improved high yielding sorghum varieties that are adapted to the socio-economic and agroecological conditions of northern Ghana. This study set out to describe the adoption of improved sorghum varieties over the years ; identify the various determinants of adoption, and intensity of use ; and to identify the varietal traits or characteristics that are desired by farmers. Finally, the study also estimates the rate of return to sorghum research. The Probit and Tobit models are used to identify the determinants of adoption and the intensity of use of improved sorghum varieties respectively. The logistic curve is used to describe cumulative adoption while the economic surplus model is used to estimate the rate of return to sorghum research. A characteristic S-shaped diffusion curve is obtained with an estimated rate of diffusion of 0.3% for the period 1988-1998.It is found that age, available family labour, non-farm income, farmers perception about the varieties, farm size and farm type positively influence adoption while extension visits, the length of the fallow period and distance to the nearest purchase point for improved seed affect adoption negatively. Age of farmer, available family labour, farmers’ perception about the varieties and farm size exert a positive influence on intensity of use while fallow period and the distance to the nearest purchase point for improved seed exert a negative influence. The estimated rate of adoption was 0.40 (40% of sampled farmers). The intensity of use, measured as the proportion of sorghum area under improved varieties, was 0.56 (56.33%) following a positive decision. It is found that farmers’ choice of variety to plant depends on yield, maturity period, market value, taste and suitability for local dishes. The rate of return to sorghum research is estimated at 8%. Sensitivity analysis shows that increasing the rate of adoption to 1% of sorghum area would raise the rate of return to 109%. For improved adoption and impact of improved Sorghum varieties, the study recommends the following measures : (i) Strengthening of research-extension-farmer linkages, (ii) Increased farmer education about the varieties, (iii) Improvement in infrastructure and input distribution networks, (iv) Active involvement of farmers in acquisition of inputs, (v) Increased sensitivity of research to farmer resource levels, (vi) Empowering farmers to engage in non-farm income generating activities and (vii) A more concerted effort at technology transfer.

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