The Impact of Postharvest Practices on the Poverty Status of Smallholder Cocoa Farmers. The Case of Ellembelle District in the Western Region of Ghana

Moses Kwadzo


Although Ghana is a major supplier of premium cocoa beans to the world market, low quality cocoa bean production by small scale farmers due to poor post-harvest practice can result in low annual income. This study was conducted to examine the effects of post-harvest practices on smallholder cocoa farmers’ poverty status in the Ellembelle district in Ghana. A total of 138 farmers were randomly sampled. With a poverty line at 50 percent of the national mean annual household income, the results indicate that 29.7 percent of the respondents are poor and the rest, 70.3 percent, are non-poor. Logistic analysis results reveal that two main variables, the number of days beans are fermented and the frequency that beans are turned during fermentation, are positive and significant in predicting the respondent’s financial ability to meet basic household and farm enterprise needs. Since all of the surveyed respondents failed to turn the beans for the required number times during heap fermentation, further training for the farmers on this technical competency is recommended.

Key words: Postharvest practices, cocoa bean quality, annual income, poverty status.

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