Accra, Feb.4,GNA- A study has confirmed that access to credit and technology is deemed to increase crop yield among smallholder farmers in Africa.
The study, which was supported by the United Nations University Institute for Natural Resources in Africa (UNU-INRA), was copied to the Ghana News Agency.
The research findings, reported in the Institute’s working paper entitled: « Crop Yield Volatility among Smallholder Farmers, » revealed that smallholder farmers who had access to credit obtained an increased yield of 35.5 per cent per acre compared to their counterparts who did not get the facility.
Smallholder farmers who adopted farming technologies such as improved seeds and fertility-restoring technologies like organic manure, had about 65.7 per cent increase in yields per acre than farmers who did not adopt any farming technology.
Dr James Atta Peprah, the lead researcher explored factors that influence crop yield volatility among rural and urban smallholder farmers in Ghana.
According to Dr. Peprah and the research team, the findings confirmed the significant roles that credit and yield-raising technologies such as improved seed varieties, fertility-restoring and conservation technologies could play in improving the yield of rural smallholder farmers.
He noted that « the results back calls to make credit available to rural farmers to purchase farming inputs so as to increase their productivity ».
The study therefore calls on policy makers to strengthen existing agricultural policies to target reduction of the cost of credit for smallholder farmers so as to enhance their access to credit.
It also admonishes financial institutions to put in place special packages for farmers as well as measures to ensure that funds given out to farmers for agricultural activities are not diverted for other purposes.
The paper called for education and training of smallholder farmers, especially by Agriculture Extension Officers, on the use of technology.
More specifically, the study is advocating for farmers to be trained and advised to adopt yield-raising technologies such as organic manure, improved seeds suitable for local conditions, and modern agricultural machinery to facilitate their farming activities for poverty reduction.