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Household adoption of soil-improving practices and food insecurity in Ghana
- Nata, Jifar T, Mjelde, James W, Boadu, Frederick O
- Agriculture & food security 2014 v.3 no.1 pp. 61
- educational status, farmers, farming systems, fertilizers, food security, households, income, innovation adoption, insecticides, insects, issues and policy, land tenure, leasing, logit analysis, markets, models, probability, seeds, soil, surveys, Ghana
- BACKGROUND: The persistent problem of poor agricultural practices and technology use leads to food insecurity for some farmers in Ghana. Studies show that the adoption of improved agricultural practices and technology may help stabilize production and lessen food insecurity. This study addresses the link between food insecurity and the adoption of soil-improving practices. To address this link, the objectives of this study are to examine factors associated with the adoption of soil-improving practices by Ghanaian farmers and how this adoption impacts the probability of increased food security. Using survey data, two logit models are estimated to determine 1) the likelihood of adopting soil-improving practices including how food security may influence adoption and 2) the relationship between technology adoption and food security. RESULTS: In the adoption model, being a food secure household, the use of insecticides and seasonal lease land tenure increase the probability of adopting such soil-improving practices. Farming on better soil decreases the probability of adopting soil-improving practices. Higher incomes along with the use of chemical fertilizers, farming on better soil, and the use of commercial seeds increase the probability of the household being food secure. The results on fertilizer, soil, and seeds are most likely associated with increased production. The use of insecticides (which may be an indicator of an insect infestation) lowers the probability of being food secure. Household characteristics such as income, age, education level, and household size are not significant in influencing the adoption decision or improving household food security. CONCLUSIONS: The results lend support to a need to fine-tune the fertilizer subsidy policy implemented by the Government of Ghana. The government needs to consider that the use of fertilizer may have conflicting influences on adoption of soil-improving practices and food security. Improved seed research and distribution would improve the households’ food security. Inferences also suggest that it is important to consider land contract markets in policy decisions.