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Adoption and Impact of Sustainable Intensification Practices in Ghana
Bekele Hundie Kotu1, Arega Alene1, Victor Manyong1 ,...
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Adoption and impact of sustainable intensification practices in Ghana


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Poster prepared by Bekele Hundie, Arega Alene, Victor Manyong, Irmgard Hoeschle-Zeledon and Asamoah Larbi for the Tropentag 2015 Conference on Management of land use systems for enhanced food security—Conflicts, controversies and resolutions, Berlin, 16-18 September 2015

So what factors influence whether farmers will adopt new sustainable intensification practices (SIPs)? And what is their impact anyway?
According to this recent study by the Africa RISING project in northern Ghana, adoption of sustainable intensification practices is influenced by several factors including:
1. Plot size,
2. perception of soil erosion,
3. off-farm income,
4. contact with model farmer,
5. social capital,
6. per capita land size, and
7. distance from market.

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Adoption and impact of sustainable intensification practices in Ghana

  1. 1. Adoption and Impact of Sustainable Intensification Practices in Ghana Bekele Hundie Kotu1, Arega Alene1, Victor Manyong1 , Irmgard Hoeschle-Zeledon1 , and Asamoah Larbi1 1International Institute of Tropical Agriculture Corresponding author email: The Africa Research In Sustainable Intensification for the Next Generation (Africa RISING) program comprises three research-for- development projects supported by the United States Agency for International Development as part of the U.S. government’s Feed the Future initiative. Through action research and development partnerships, Africa RISING will create opportunities for smallholder farm households to move out of hunger and poverty through sustainably intensified farming systems that improve food, nutrition, and income security, particularly for women and children, and conserve or enhance the natural resource base. The three projects are led by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (in West Africa and East and Southern Africa) and the International Livestock Research Institute (in the Ethiopian Highlands). The International Food Policy Research Institute leads an associated project on monitoring, evaluation and impact assessment. 1. Introduction While agricultural output can be increased by putting more lands under cultivation, it is becoming more and more difficult nowadays for many African countries to realize agricultural growth in such a way because of increasing land scarcity. Consequently, agricultural intensification has been promoted particularly since the remarkable achievements of Asian countries during the era of green revolution. More recently focus has been given to the sustainability of such practices mainly because of the negative environmental externalities of past practices. Sustainable intensification entails the application of multiple inputs and practices in an integrated manner to increase productivity while increasing contributions to natural capital and environmental services (Pretty et al 2011, Tilman et al 2002). This study aims to assess the adoption of sustainable intensification practices (SIPs) and analyse its impacts on farmers' income. 3. Method of Data Analysis Seven SIPs were considered in our analysis namely, inter-cropping, crop rotation, organic fertilisers (mainly manure), soil and water conservation practices, inorganic fertilisers, improved seeds, and pesticides (including herbicides). A multivariate probit (MVP) model was estimated using a simulated maximum likelihood method to assess the integrated adoption of multiple SIPs. Moreover, we used a multivalued semi-parametric treatment effect model (MVTE) to estimate the effects of adopting SIPs on three productivity indicators i.e. gross return, net return, and returns to labour in maize production. 4.2. Determinants of adoption The MVP regression result shows that 27 out of 29 explanatory variables could explain adoption decisions in at least one of the SIPs. Factors such as plot size, perception of soil erosion, off-farm income, contact with model farmer, and social capital have consistent positive relationships with at least three SIPs while per capita land size and distance from market have negative relationships. Other factors, such as plot ownership, slope, soil type, home-plot distance, livestock holding, access to credit, and sex of household head have a mixture of positive and negative effects. For instance, having more livestock enhances the use of organic fertilizers (manure) but reduces the likelihood of applying chemical fertilizers. The results also show that the adoptions of the SIPs are interdependent and that most farmers adopt agricultural practices as a package but not as a single technology. Figure 1: Location of the study areas 2.The study areas and the data The study is based on data collected from 1284 households residing in 50 rural villages of northern Ghana in 2014. 4. Findings 4.1.Rate of adoption 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 or 7 Maize Major crops Percent Number of SIPs adopted 4.3. Impacts of adoption The first stochastic dominance analysis shows that the probability of lower returns is lower for farmers adopting more number of SIPs than those who adopt less (Figure 3) 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 1 300 600 900 1200 1500 1800 2100 2400 o or 1 SIP 2 SIPs 3 SIPs ≥ 4 SIPs Net return (GHC/ha) Probabil The mean maize gross return increases across treatment levels as one goes from no adoption of SIP category through to adoption of four or more SIPs category (Figure 4). All the coefficients are statistically significant at 5% or 1% levels. -50 0 50 100150200 Changeingrossincome(GHC/ha) 2 vs 0 3 vs 0 4 vs 0 3 vs 2 4 vs 2 4 vs 3 Comparisons The Average Treatment Effect (ATE) increases as the number of SIPs increases for the 25th, 50th, and 75th quantiles. In all cases, the ATEs are significantly different from zero (Figure 5). 0 200 400 600 800 0 or 1 2 3 ≥4 mean q25 q50 q75 GHC/ha Number of SIPs adopted Conclusion Our result shows that SIPs are interdependent and hence most farmers adopt agricultural practices as a package but not as a single technology. Such a mechanism of adoption has helped those farmers who adopted multiple SIPs to exploit potential complementarity among the technologies. The authors are grateful to USAID/FtF Initiative for its financial support. We also thank project team members at IFPRI specifically Carlo Azzari and Beliyou Haile for sharing the data set with us. Acknowledgements Pretty, J., Toulmin, C. & Williams, S. (2011). Sustainable intensification in African agriculture. Int. Jour. of Agricultural Sustainability, 9:1, 5-24 Tilman, D., Cassman, K.G., Matson, P.A., Naylor, R. & Polasky, S. (2002). Agricultural sustainability and intensive production practices. NATURE, VOL 418: 671-677 References Figure 5: Effect of SIPs on maize productivity, by quantile Figure 4: Effect of SIPs on maize productivity, mean level Figure 2: Adoption SIPs in Ghana Figure 3:Impact of SIPs on net return of maize