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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/9671

Title: Modeling optimal farm plan for cashew farming households in Northern Ghana
Authors: Adu, Kwaku Agyei
Issue Date: 9-Nov-2016
Abstract: The choice of the farming household at every season on what to grow is driven by profit maximization. Cashew farming households with an established cashew farm cultivate other food crops for home consumption and also for sale in order to generate income during periods when fruiting of the crop have not started. Notwithstanding the benefits derived from this approach, farmers are faced with a decision on what and how much should be added that maximize their socio-economic benefits in line with the resource restrictions. This study therefore has developed a farm optimization model for cashew farming households in Bole district that cultivate other food crops alongside cashew. The study employed a multi-stage sampling technique to select 150 cashew farming households. A structured questionnaire was used to collect the data which was analyzed with General Algebraic Modeling System (GAMS) software to perform the optimization. The goal of the study was to identify the best mix of crops that maximizes gross farm income for both actual and best farm practices under different farm sizes. The optimal cropping plan under actual practices suggest that in order for cashew farming households with 5.25ha of land to maximize gross farm income, maize, cassava, yam and groundnut should be cultivated. Also, as production tends to be commercialized, maize, cassava, groundnut and millet should be cultivated to maximize gross farm income. The optimal cropping plan under best farm practices suggest that shea, sorghum, groundnut and cassava should be cultivated by farming households with 5.25ha of farm land and as production tends to be commercialized the acreages cultivated of these crops increase with shea gaining more focus. A significant difference exists between the optimal cropping plan for the baseline scenario and other alternate scenarios. If farm households were to allocate all their resources to the production of cashew under both farm practices, they would be able to gain enough income to cater for the crop consumption requirement of the household by purchasing from the external market. In periods of displacement of labor where there is less supply of family labor, the acreages of cultivation of the optimal crops should be reduced and sorghum featuring into the optimal plan under actual practices and the acreages of cultivation of the best mix of crops should be reduced and focused on the cultivation of shea under best farm practices. It is therefore recommended based on the optimization results that farming households cultivates these crops alongside their wild shea kernel gathering activities.
Description: A thesis submitted to The Department of Agricultural Economics, Agribusiness and Extension, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Philosophy, 2016
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/9671
Appears in Collections:College of Agric and Natural Resources

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