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Title: Resource conservation practices : adoption and productive efficiency among smallholders in northern Ghana
Author: Nkegbe, Paul Kwame
ISNI:       0000 0004 2717 0253
Awarding Body: University of Reading
Current Institution: University of Reading
Date of Award: 2011
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The people of northern Ghana are poor peasants depending almost exclusively on natural resources for their livelihoods. The poverty is caused partly by inadequate water availability and deteriorating soil conditions. As a result, various organizations promote the use of soil and water conservation practices in the area, but the link between the use of the practices and fanner efficiency is yet to be shown empirically. The current study thus set out to broadly investigate the factors that motivate farmers' adoption of resource conservation practices in northern Ghana and assess its effect on their technical efficiency using data from 445 households in the area. Using probit models, the empirical results reveal that household adoption decisions are influenced principally by variables classified as farm or plot and cropping characteristics, and socio-economic and institutional variables. An analysis of the decision to intensively adopt the conservation practices using count data models shows that besides the variables categories identified under the adoption decision, personal and household characteristics also play a major role in determining the intensity of use of the practices. Results from the use of parametric frontier and nonparametric DEA models show levels of technical efficiency in crop production among smallholders are low with technical efficiency levels increasing with adoption of soil and water conservation practices. But the results of the multi-output multi-input models show high levels of technical efficiency among smallholders in their multiple production activities emphasising the importance of conducting smallholder efficiency analysis at the multi-activity level. The multi-output models also show adoption of conservation practices exerts positive effect on technical efficiency. The results further reveal significant diversification economies in smallholder production with complementarity effects in crop-livestock and crop-off-farm combinations, and substitutability effects in crop-off- farm combination thereby highlighting the need for a holistic development of both the farm and off-farm sectors.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available