Influence of Socio-Economic Characteristics on the Utilization of Development Interventions: A Case Study of Shea Butter Processors in Northern Ghana

Afishata Mohammed Abujaja, Hudu Zakaria, Hamza Adam


Shea butter production constitutes a major part of the livelihood sources of poor rural women in Northern Ghana. As such, the industry has attracted the attention of stakeholders, especially governmental and non-governmental organizations, who have undertaken some interventions to improve the industry. The main aim of these interventions is to improve the livelihoods of the poor and vunerable, especially women who depend on the sector for survival. However, despite the numerous interventions, poverty is still well pronounced among the rural people in Northern Ghana, especially among women. This challenge can be partially attributed to lack of utilization of the development interventions introduced to improve performance of the sector. It has been argued that the socio-economic background of people can influence the extent to which they perceive and utilize innovations. The aim of the present study was to determine the influence of socio-economic characteristics on the utilization of development interventions. In all 114 respondents, beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries were selected through random and purposive sampling techniques respectively for the study. Data were gathered through the use of semi-structured questionnaires, interviews, focus group discussions and personal observations; and analysed by use of personal narrations and descriptive statistics. Chi-Square test was used to determine the level of significance between socio-economic characteristics and utilization of development interventions. The results showed that socio-economic characteristics such as age, access to credit, source of start-up capital, and marital status were found to be significant (p< 0.02) with respect to the utilization of development interventions. The study calls on policy interventions, particularly those that relate to shea butter venture to properly assess the socio-economic background of rural people in order to design appropriate intervention packages since that remains critical for the utilization of development interventions.

Keywords: Shea butter, women, utilization and development intervention

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3208 ISSN (Online)2225-093X

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