Master’s Thesis Defense - Ebenezer Offei Ansah - May 9
Date: May 9, 2016
Time: 10 a.m.
Location: Natural Resources RM 338
Nature and Extent of Farmer Participation in Cocoa Certification in Ghana
Master’s Thesis Defense
Monday, May 9, 2016
338 Natural Resource Building
Certification of cocoa producers is one example of market-based mechanisms to promote adoption of sustainable agricultural practices (SAPs). Those efforts to design approaches to incentivize developing country farmers to adopt SAPs would benefit from better understanding of the factors and circumstances underlining the participation of farmers in certification programs. This study examines farmer participation in and stakeholder assessment of cocoa certification in Ghana. The study also assesses determinants and barriers to farmer participation in cocoa certification programs in Ghana. Data was collected from farmers and other stakeholders using a household survey, focus group discussions, and in-depth interviews. Descriptive and inferential statistics as well as a binary logistic regression were used to analyse and present the quantitative results of the study. Coding of the qualitative data was used to analyse the results of the focus groups and in-depth interviews. The study results reveal that farmers are satisfied in the decision-making aspects of cocoa certification programs and largely agree with decisions and certification requirements. However, the data show that farmers’ level of knowledge of certification as wells as their involvement in compliance inspections are not as expected. It was revealed that important determinants of participation in cocoa certification programs are: farmer being a leader; age of farmer; and number of adult household members. Furthermore, the cost of membership registration, time for attending meetings, existing relationship with licensed buying companies, and inadequate information about certification were found to be important barriers to participation. Key implications from the study include the need to intensify the campaign for certification and the need to make the objectives of the program explicit to farmers. Innovative strategies to increase the efficiency of compliance inspections would also be helpful. The results demonstrate the need for further research to explain the processes through which age affects participation in cocoa certification programs as well as to understand the adoption of specific recommended practices under cocoa certification.