Examining Smallholder Rice Farmers’ Yield Improvement Needs in Asunafo North Municipality of Ghana

Isaac Diaka, Kenichi Matsui


Scholars who promoted crop production increase for food security have overlooked the fact that per-hectare yield does not necessarily increase. In Ghana, where food insecurity has become worse in recent years, domestic rice production has not contributed much to domestic rice consumption. The question remains what factors contributed to smallholder rice farmers’ low yield? Also, what do these smallholder rice farmers need to do to improve yield? This study adopted a simple random sampling technique to select 154 rice farmers for a questionnaire survey in October and November 2020. The results are discussed partly by performing a correlation analysis, an independent t-test, and Kendall’s coefficient of concordance. We found that 58.4% of the respondents cultivated popular high-yield varieties like AGRA and Jasmine, but their yield remained relatively lower than the national average. One of the reasons behind this low yield outcome among the respondents was that improved seed varieties were not timely available (92.8%) and the input cost was high (85.7%). The average annual income from rice farming for these respondents was too low for them to procure a sufficient amount of input. Regarding respondents’ technology needs, Kendall’s coefficient of concordance showed that timely access to improved varieties, irrigation infrastructure, and row planting were among the most important. As to their non-technological needs, the respondents needed timely information about rice production, more access to credit, and more frequent services from extension officers. The correlation analysis revealed that respondents’ experience and off-farm income showed a significant positive and negative association with their yield levels. This paper then discusses recommendations for providing improved rice production technologies to farmers.

Keywords: Smallholder farmers, Rice, Yield improvement, Technological/non-technological needs

DOI: 10.7176/JBAH/13-8-04

Publication date:May 31st 2023

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

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