Perceptions of COVID-19 Shocks and Adoption of sustainable Agricultural Practices in Ghana

Most studies on the novel COVID-19 pandemic have focused mainly on human health, food systems, and employment with limited studies on how farmers implement sustainable agricultural practices (SAPs) in response to the pandemic. This study examines how perceptions of COVID-19 shocks influence the adoption of SAPs among smallholder farmers in Ghana. We find that perceptions of COVID-19 shocks influence the probability and intensity of SAPs adoption. Secondly, households who anticipated COVID-19 shocks recorded heterogeneity effects in the combinations (complementarity and substitutability) of SAPs. Farmers who anticipated an increase in input prices and loss of income due to COVID-19 recorded the highest complementarity association between pesticide and zero tillage while farmers who expected limited market access reported the highest complementarity between mixed cropping and mulching. Farmers who projected a decrease in output prices complements pesticides with mixed cropping. The findings suggest that understanding the heterogeneity effects in the combinations of SAPs due to COVID-19 shocks is critical to effectively design, target and disseminate sustainable intensification programs in a post-pandemic period.
COVID-19, Sustainable agricultural intensification