Effects of Organic Mango Outgrower Scheme on Participants’ Livelihood in Savelugu/Nanton Municipality, Northern Region, Ghana
The study examined the effects of participation of the Integrated Tamale Fruit Company (ITFC) Organic Mango Outgrower Scheme (OMOS) on farmers’ livelihood capitals. A descriptive research approach was employed using a semi-structured questionnaire and a checklist for data collection. Purposive and stratified sampling techniques were used to select 158 outgrowers and 10 key informants for the study. Farmers generally benefited from the scheme, though not as much as they expected. For instance, participation in the scheme was offering employment opportunities for majority of farmers (81.6%), and 95.6% of the farmers had applied the good agricultural practices learned under the scheme to the cultivation of food crops in the area. Similarly, the household income level of 65.2% of the respondents had increased; average annual income from mango production had increased by 34.5% from GHC650.00 to GHC900.00 per acre. Also, 52.5% said participation in the scheme had helped to improve the educational infrastructure in their communities and that had facilitated access to education. Furthermore, 64.6% of farmers thought participation in the scheme had generally encouraged cooperation among farmer group members. Lastly, in terms of farmers’ use of natural resources, 99.5% indicated a positive change. Some of the major challenges were disease and pest attacks, low yields, bushfire outbreaks, lack of cash credit, inadequate inputs, lack of irrigation, no flexible contract terms and delayed payment. It is recommended that additional facilities such as cash credit, cutlasses, pruning sharks, spraying equipment, weeding machines, and irrigation facilities that were initially not envisaged should be provided for increased crop yields.
Keywords: ITFC, Organic Mango, Outgrower Scheme, Northern Region, Ghana
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