Assessing the economic viability of the slash and char system for carbon sequestration and agricultural productivity: a case of smallholder maize farmers in Ghana

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This thesis looked at the viability of the slash-and-char system under smallholder maize production in Ghana, with a particular reference to the slash-and-burn practice which leads to increased Green House Gas emissions. Analysis is made for carbon sequestration using biochar under a maize production system for three locations in Ghana. The study, shows that carbon sequestration through the slash and char system for maize production is not a profitable alternative to the slash and burn system, both in the short term and in the long term from the perspective of the farmer. For both short and long term agricultural decisions, the farmer would not adopt the slash-and-char practice relative to the slash and burn practice. The proposed carbon sequestration practice is only profitable from the farmers‟ point of view if there is an incentive scheme for maize farmers. However, the slash-and-char system is a profitable alternative to the slash and burn practice from the view point of the society. The study therefore recommends that farmers should be motivated to adopt the carbon sequestration practice since it leads to a net positive impact on the economy in terms of national income and clean environment. It is further recommended that such incentives should at least be more than the farm income forgone as the farmer changes from the slash and burn practice to the slash and char practice.
A Thesis Submitted to the Department of Agricultural Economics, Agribusiness and Extension, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Master of Philosophy in Agricultural Economics.