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Smallholder farmers’ preferences for sustainable intensification attributes in maize production: evidence from Ghana
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While sustainable intensification has been aggressively promoted as an agricultural development strategy among smallholder farmers since the beginning of the last decade, there is a dearth of evidence on whether farmers are interested in practicing it and how much value they put to its different components. This study aims at analyzing farmers’ preferences for maize production technologies within the lens of sustainable intensification. Employing a discrete choice experiment to generate over 12,500 observations from a sample of about 700 maize-producing households in northern Ghana, we analyze farmers’ preferences with respect to five domains of sustainable intensification including productivity, economic, human, environmental, and social conditions. We find that farmers are favorably disposed to maize-based cropping systems that align with the domains of sustainable intensification over their current cropping practices. While farmers value all the sustainable intensification attributes considered in the study, we observe substantial heterogeneities among them in the pooled sample and in the sub-samples between regions and gender categories. The findings suggest that sustainable intensification is not just a fad within the academic and research circles but something farmers are interested in and that development actions are more likely to succeed when they consider preference heterogeneities among farmers and adapt to local conditions. The findings can be used to set an evaluation criterion in designing and testing technologies (or a mix of technologies) for sustainable maize production among smallholder farmers in northern Ghana as well as similar socio-cultural and agroecological settings, supporting national and regional level efforts for R&D prioritization.
Multi standard citation
Permanent link to this itemhttps://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12478/7392
IITA Authors ORCID
Bekele Hundie Kotuhttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-5788-6461
Nurudeen Abdul Rahmanhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-4073-5610
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)