Cocoa farmers' perception on climate variability and its effects on adaptation strategies in the Suaman district of western region, Ghana

Cocoa farmers' perception on climate variability and its effects on adaptation strategies in the Suaman district of western region, Ghana

Climate Change has gained global attention due to its adverse impact on agriculture. Cocoa production in Ghana is also under threat following climate change. This study, therefore, examined farmers’ perception on climate variability and its effect on adaptation strategies in the Suaman district of Western Region, Ghana. It involved 240 cocoa farmers. The study estimated Heckman’s treatment effect model that corrected the presence of selectivity bias in the sample.

From the result, 69.5% of the farmers perceived an increase in the average temperature while 22.5% perceived an increase in the average rainfall over the years. The factors that significantly influenced farmers’ perceptions were farm size, farm management training, household size and farmer-based organization (FBO) membership.

The major adaptation strategies adopted by the farmers were pesticides application, planting improved varieties, mixed planting and changing planting dates. Farmers’ perception was found to have a positive impact on their adaptation. Other factors that significantly influenced adaptation were age of cocoa farm, household size and FBO membership.

The study concluded that perceptions are essential in adapting to climate variability in the district. Training of farmers on cocoa production and other agricultural activities in relation to climate variability and its impact is highly recommended. Similarly, enhancing access to weather forecast information is important to enhance farmer’s perceptions and also effectively implement adaptation strategies such as changing planting dates.

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