Conservation Agriculture Practice: The Psychology of Smallholder Farmer Adoption in Ghana

  • Expected start date:
    Expected end date:
    Project Status:
    Project Type:
    Project Manager :
    Calvin Atewamba

    Feeding an expanding world population, while mitigating climate change, is the key challenge of our century. Both agricultural productivity and farmers will be affected by the direct impact of climate change with model projections suggesting the highest percentage of crop loss will be in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) (Hertel, Burke, & Lobell, 2010). Scientific consensus approves of a range of Conservation Agricultural Practices (CAP’s) which both improve agricultural productivity and reduce environmental degradation (Knowler & Bradshaw, 2007). This in turn reduces poverty, as studies have estimated that for every 10% increase in farm yields, there has been a 7% reduction in poverty in Africa; and more than a 5% reduction in Asia (UNEP, 2011). In order to mitigate climate change, continue to supply global food as well as reduce poverty, agricultural practices need to shift rapidly to using CAP’s (Jat, Sahrawat, & Kassam, 2013). This research aims to understand which psychological determinants predict the adoption of CAPs in small-scale farmers.This is valuable because while many resources are provided to change farmer behavior, adoption rates of the new practices are low and de-adoption rates are high. This research will sample 600 smallholder farmers in Ghana. Data will be collected using a survey determining the Values, Beliefs and Norms (VBN) of farmers in decision making roles. In addition, a list of CAP’s will be used to assess each farm on the amount of practices they have adopted. The data from the VBN survey and CAP checklist will then be tested using a Structural Equation Modeling methodology. Results will support Advisory Organizations running the CAP programmes, other interested stakeholder groups, the broader agricultural community.

    • Calvin Atewamba Calvin Atewamba Research Fellow, Green-Economy
      Project Manager
    • Benjamin TURKSON