An assessment of the contribution of cotton production to local economic development in Sissala East and West Districts

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Millions of poor households secure their livelihoods from the cultivation of cotton the world over. In most developing countries, cotton production contributes about 40 percent of exports and about 5 percent of Gross Domestic Product. Cotton production in Ghana however has, remained a subject of concern to policy makers and other development stakeholders for some time now due to the poor sector performance. The objective of this study was to assess the contribution of cotton production to Local Economic Development in the Sissala East and West Districts. The study was an exploratory case study which utilized both quantitative and qualitative types of data both of which were accessed from primary and secondary sources. The tools used for data collection included questionnaires, interview/FGD guides/checklists. The data collection methods included Focus Group Discussions, structured, semi structured and unstructured/informal interviews and questionnaire surveys. A sample size of 335 was obtained from a total sampling frame of 2589 at 95% confidence and a margin of error of 5%. Findings of the study show that, the entire Sissala land has a huge potential for the cultivation of cotton even without the use of fertilizer. It is was also established that, cotton production creates more employment opportunities for the people than other crops due to its numerous value chain processes which further translate into improved income levels of cotton farmers. The study again discovered that farmer attitudes towards cotton production in terms of input diversion remains a major challenge to efforts aimed at revamping the cotton sector in the districts. The study recommends that, cotton farmer associations, cotton producing companies, and the government through the districts assemblies should harness the needed synergy to salvage the rather promising cotton industry in the districts through input subsidies, improved peer monitoring on the usage of inputs supplied to the farmers for cotton production, and the institution of schemes to reward hardworking farmers, Cotton Production Assistants and farmer groups who are able to repay in full their indebtedness to the companies
Thesis submitted to the School of Graduate Studies Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Development Policy and Planning,