Quaye, Wilhemina; K. Adofo,; K.O. Agyeman,; F. Nimoh,. "Socioeconomic survey of traditional commercial production of cocoyam and cocoyam leaf.(Report)." African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development. Rural Outreach Program. 2010. HighBeam Research. 18 Apr. 2014 <http://www.highbeam.com>.
Quaye, Wilhemina; K. Adofo,; K.O. Agyeman,; F. Nimoh,. "Socioeconomic survey of traditional commercial production of cocoyam and cocoyam leaf.(Report)." African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development. 2010. HighBeam Research. (April 18, 2014). http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-246449605.html
Quaye, Wilhemina; K. Adofo,; K.O. Agyeman,; F. Nimoh,. "Socioeconomic survey of traditional commercial production of cocoyam and cocoyam leaf.(Report)." African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development. Rural Outreach Program. 2010. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from HighBeam Research: http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-246449605.html
Cocoyam, Xanthosoma sagittifolium, is cultivated in tropical regions for human nutrition, animal feed, and cash income for both farmers and traders [1, 2, 3]. Cocoyam is vegetatively propagated using the corms and to a lesser extent the cormels. As food for human consumption, the nutritional value of the various parts of cocoyam is primarily caloric . The underground cormels provide easily digested starch; and the leaves are nutritious spinach-like vegetable, which give a lot of minerals, vitamins and thiamine [5, 6, 7]. In Ghana cocoyam is generally grown by small-scale farmers and cocoyam farms under intensive management are highly limited. Since cocoyam tolerates shade, the crop is frequently grown in intercropping systems together with permanent crops such as banana, coffee, coconut, rubber, oil palm and cocoa [8, 9]. Cocoyam leaf is produced on subsistence basis and pickers who are not farmers dominate its harvesting and marketing . In most countries of West Africa root and tuber crops play a major role in national food security and contribute significantly to the economy . Cassava, yam, cocoyam and plantain constitute over 50% of the Agricultural Gross Domestic Product in Ghana . In 2007, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture in Ghana estimated total domestic cocoyam production of 1,690,000mt with production available for human consumption and per capita consumption of 1,352,000mt and 57.1kg/annum respectively. Although cocoyam production started increasing in 2006 as shown in figure 1, the annual growth rate for area planted has been decreasing as shown in figure 2. The average area of cocoyam cultivated in 2002 to 2004 is compared with 2005 to 2007 average while 1996 to 1998 is compared with 1999 to 2001 average.
[FIGURE 1 OMITTED]
[FIGURE 2 OMITTED]
Despite the usefulness of cocoyam and cocoyam leaves, the cocoyam industry in Ghana is beset with challenges. Some of these challenges are the alarming rate of forest degradation in Ghana (as the bulk of cocoyam grows in forest areas) and lack of improved varieties for commercial cocoyam and cocoyam leaf production. Decreasing rainfall and poor soils have also been identified as some of the causes besetting the cocoyam industry in Ghana . This survey was one of the activities under the Root and Tuber Improvement and Marketing Programme (RTIMP) in Ghana aimed at enhancing food security and rural livelihoods.
The main objective of this survey was to provide a thorough description of commercial cocoyam/cocoyam leaf production in the Fanteakwa District of Eastern region of Ghana. Specific objectives were as follows:
i. To identify the socio-economic characteristics of cocoyam/cocoyam leaf producers;
ii. To investigate the agronomic practices and scale of production;
iii. To assess profitability of cocoyam production; and
iv. To investigate production constraints
Fanteakwa District (figure 3) is located exactly in the middle of the Eastern Region of Ghana. The total land area of the district is 1,150 sq kilometers and cultivable area of 76,133ha. Fanteakwa District occupies 7.68% of the total land area within the Eastern Region (18310 sq.km) and constitutes 0.48% of the total land area in Ghana. The district lies within the wet-semi equatorial region with mean annual rainfall between 150.0mm and 2000mm. It has a total of 291.42 sq.km forest reserves which is a potential source for timber, game and wildlife. The major underlying rock is the Birrimian formation and is economically the most important geological formation in Ghana containing most of the valuable exportable minerals such as gold, bauxite, diamonds (http://www.ghana.com accessed on 2nd December 2009).
[FIGURE 3 OMITTED]
Agriculture is the predominant economic activity and it employs over 81.8% of the economically active labour force in the Fanteakwa District. Crops produced are maize, cassava, plantain, cocoyam, yam and vegetables. Average farm size is about 1 hectare And cocoyam production in 2006 was 9430 ha and total production of 76,383Mt . Major areas of cocoyam production in the district include Apaah, Feyiase, Ehiamankyne and Begoro.
Selection and Sampling
Fanteakwa District was selected in the Eastern Region of Ghana based on its environmental suitability for cocoyam production and consumption trends. In order to ensure a reasonable representation of cocoyam farming population in the entire district, a two-stage stratified random sampling technique was used. …
Countries of the World; January 1, 1991
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