Promoting best business practices among smallholder farmers in Ghana: the case of MiDA training for FBOs in Hohoe District in the Volta Region
This study was carried out to assess the adoption of best business practices among farmers in the Hohoe district of the Volta Region. A random sampling technique was used for selecting the respondents for the study. The total sample size of 191 respondents was randomly selected from four Farmer Based Organizations (FBOs). Data was collected through a structured interview schedule and analyzed with descriptive statistics. The study showed that majority (57.1%) of respondents were males and farmers up to 45 years constituted (60.2%) of the sample size. The study also revealed that the mean bags per acre of maize for all FBOs produced by the respondents increased from 1.3 before the training to 10.0 after the training. The farmers therefore, increased yields by as much as 87% over and above what they realized before the start of the training. The respondents further increased their access to produce markets with linkages to institutional markets. The factors influencing increased yields and respondents' greater access to produce markets were also identified to be low. Non-adoption of improved agricultural technologies and best business practices accounted for the low productivity at the start of the training. To encourage smallholder farmers to benefit from 'agriculture as business', there is the need to equip them with the capacity to keep accurate records and patronize improved agro inputs to strengthen their businesses, improve their technical skills to enhance efficiency in their routine operations, assist them to maximise sales by facilitating their access to markets and providing them with infrastructural support.
Keywords: Best business practices, Farmer based organizations, improved agricultural technologies, maize, MiDA