Crop yield and Fertilizer Use among farmers in Guinea Savannnah and Transitional Zones of Ghana
Williams K. Atakora
Bindraban, Prem S.
To establish the farm yields beyond recall surveys, we sampled 160 farmer fields in the Guinea Savannah and Transitional zones of Ghana to (1) determine the farm yields for maize, rice, and soybean and (2) conduct a socioeconomic survey of the farmers and their farm activities. The major highlights from the findings include the following: Most farmers indicated that capital (income available for farming), rather than labor (family or hired labor) or time (farmer's own labor hours), was the most limiting production resource, with sufficient labor and time adequate for cultivating their crops. The use of fertilizer was absent among soybean farmers but high among maize and rice farmers. The major fertilizers used for maize and rice production were NPK 15-15-15, urea, and NPK 23-10-10+2MgO+3S+0.3Zn. Farmers did not generally use the recommended fertilizer application rates. Depending on the fertilizer type used, maize yield averaged 2.6-3.2 mt/ha, rice averaged 2.1-3.4 mt/ha, and soybean averaged 1.4 mt/ha. From the farmers' perspective, the major reasons for the existing yield gaps were labor, rainfall, and declining soil fertility. Most farmers also had faced production risks, including those related to health, environment, logistics and infrastructure, and finance and markets. A total of 1,566, 921, and 931 man hours were used for the entire production season per hectare of rice, maize, and soybean, respectively. The farmers indicted concerns over labor unavailability and its cost, and these resulted in the use of less labor than required for all farm activities. • Rice production, especially planting and harvesting activities, was more labor intensive than maize and soybean production. For these activities (planting and harvesting), more female laborers were used on the rice farms than male laborers. Farmers engaged in crop farming more as business rather than as subsistence. This high degree of commercialization creates opportunities to engage with input and output market actors more firmly.
Adrawla, William, Williams K. Atakora, Amadou Couzaye, and Prem S. Bindraban. 2021 Crop Yield and Fertilizer Use Among Farmers in Guinea Savannah and Transitional Zones of Ghana. IFDC FERARI Research Report 6