Production and marketing challenges of vegetable farming: a case study of Kumasi metropolis of Ashanti region, Ghana
The availability of large markets in urban communities has given cities enormous potential for food production especially vegetables. This potential partly accounts for mass exodus of people into cities. Poverty is however accompanying urbanisation but food production potential of cities could reduce urban poverty. This study assesses the production and marketing challenges of urban vegetable production in the Kumasi Metropolis of the Ashanti Region, Ghana. A simple random sampling technique was used to select a sample of 300 urban vegetable farmers from the study area. A structured interview schedule was used to collect data for analysis. Vegetable producers were basically smallholder farmers with land sizes between 0.1 and 3.2 ha. The result also revealed that greater proportion of cultivated land was put to leafy vegetables (lettuce, cabbage and spring onions). Again, majority (97.3 percent) of the respondents disposed of their produce through middle men at the farm gate level. The Kendall's coefficient of concordance analysis also showed that there was 51.8 percent agreement among respondents on the ranking of vegetable production challenges they encountered at 5 percent significant level. On the contrary, only 40.8 percent among the respondents agreed on the ranking of the marketing challenges they were confronted with. Agricultural extension training and education on innovative agricultural practices would increase farmers' income and enhance their livelihood. This study seeks to identify the production and marketing constraints urban vegetable farmers face in the Kumasi Metropolis of Ashanti Region, Ghana.
Keywords: Urbanisation, urban vegetable farmers, urban poverty, production, respondents