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Farmers’ Management Practices and the Quality of Cocoa Beans in Upper Denkyira District of Ghana

Keywords: Cocoa beans , Ghana , management practices , quality

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Abstract:

The study was a survey to investigate farmers’ management practices to ensure quality of cocoa beans in the Upper Denkyira District of Ghana. Forty cocoa farmers were randomly selected from four communities in the district and interviewed using semi-structured questionnaires. The study showed that the major problems affecting the quality of cocoa beans in the district were financial constraints, pests and diseases, high cost of spraying and incidence of weeds. These accounted for 91.5% of the problems affecting the quality of cocoa beans. The main practices adopted by farmers to ensure high quality cocoa beans were proper drying, regular spraying and proper fermentation. In order to enhance the quality cocoa beans, farmers recommended the provision of credit to farmers, education on post-harvest management practices, and provision of input subsidies. It was concluded that farmers were conversant with the proper management practices and applied very strict measures to ensure quality cocoa beans. Farmers’ good management practices accounted for the quality premium enjoyed by the country on the international market. The study recommended that the mass cocoa spraying exercise should be extended to cover all farmers who currently do not benefit to reduce the effects of pests and diseases.

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