Organic and Conventional Vegetable Production in Northern Ghana: Farmers’ Decision Making and Technical Efficiency
Increasing consumer affluence and concerns over food safety have led to a reemergence of consumers’ appetite for organic food as a way of achieving nutritional security. This research estimates the farmers’ decision making into organic or conventional vegetable production and their technical efficiency. A total of 200 each of organic and conventional vegetable producers were selected through multistage sampling technique, and the data was collected through semi-structured questionnaires. A stochastic frontier model (SFM) with sample selection was employed to correct for selectivity bias in estimating the effect of organic vegetable farming on vegetable output and technical efficiency. The results show that farmers’ education, ability, and ownership of resources to farm throughout the year (ARCAY), ability to make own inputs (AMOI), membership in a farmer-based organisation (FBO), access to extension services and access to external credit support (AECS) significantly explained the probability of engaging in organic vegetable production. Organic vegetable farming had a positive significant effect on the technical efficiency of vegetable farmers. The study concluded that organic farming is an important source of insurance for farmers to increase vegetable production and reduce inefficiencies. However, institutional factors such as extension delivery, group formation, and credit provision should be enhanced to promote organic agriculture among vegetable farmers in the region.