Analysis of the Maize Value Chain Development in the Northern Region, the case of the Association of Church Development Programme (ACDEP)
The study sought to investigate the extent to which the actors in the maize value chain of the Association of Church Development Projects and its partners (ACDEP/PAS) were adopting the tenets to upgrade the processes and products of the chain. Stratified and simple random sampling techniques were used to select a total of 240 maize farmers and 15 input dealers and officials of the intervention organizations. The methods of analysis involved the estimation of a probit model and the use of Kendall’s coefficient of concordance as well as some descriptive statistics. The study revealed that majority of the actors; especially the farmers were not adopting the recommended strategies to upgrade the chain in terms of processes. For instance, only 2.5%, 18.3%, 0.8%, 2.5% respectively did harrow their plots after ploughing, used certified seeds for planting and carried out germination test before planting their seeds. Also, 65.8% of them applied less than the recommended 150kg of fertilizer per acre. In terms of upgrading their products, while all of them (100%) labelled and weighed their produce, none of them did grading or certification of their produce. However, 54.2% as against 45.8% dried their maize on tarpaulin. The probability of participating in the ACDEP/PAS value chain was higher for the following: older farmers, married farmers; ownership of larger farms; and the perception that participation would enhance one’s market access. Credit access was the main challenge facing the categories of actors. Other critical challenges facing farmers were high cost of inputs, inadequate tractor/labour services and low price for their produce. There is the need to take a holist approach to solving the problem of inadequate credit. Also, while more actors (e.g. investors in storage facilities) must be encouraged to come on board, the chain must be supported for an effective linkage of all the actors.
Keywords: ACDEP, Maize, Northern Ghana, Value chain
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