Economic Viability of Soya Bean Production in Upper West Region of Northern Ghana

By: Faizal Adams  

Traditional cost-benefit analysis of economic viability of soya-bean production tends to largely focus on financial benefits to farmers, and little from the non-market co-benefits in sustaining smallholder farming systems. Exclusively depending on the conventional cost-benefit analysis undermines the actual potential benefit of soya-bean which often results in ineffectual policy designs. An extended economic analysis that incorporate key non-pecuniary co-benefit of soya-bean production provide vital insight that contributes to improving productivity and overall economic wellbeing of farmers. Data was collected on 271 smallholder soya-bean farmers in three districts (Sissala West, Wa East and Dafiama-Busie-Issa (DBI)) of Upper West region of Ghana. The Replacement Cost Method was used to analyse the data capturing both market and non-market attributes of soya bean production. When non-market co-benefits were omitted, soya bean production was not profitable (-GH¢103.10/Ha or -US$22.91) for farmers at DBI while Sissala West and Wa East had a modest profit margin. Overall, the financial analysis dramatically changed when an average non-market value of GH¢571.28/Ha(US$126.95) was included in the analysis for all districts. Soya-bean production was generally financially viable when the non-market co-benefits were incorporated in the analysis. An important extension of the finding is the importance of such non-pecuniary benefits in smallholder farming systems. For instance, farmers’ motivation for soya-bean production may be closely linked to such ancillary benefits like biological nitrogen fixed in the soil for subsequent cultivation of other crops. Similarly, crop administrators and policy makers’ support for conservation agriculture and green environment may be tied to these non-market co-benefits.

Non-market Benefits, Economic
Food, Nutrition, and Health
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Faizal Adams

LECTURER, Department of Agriculture, Economics, Agribusiness, and Extensioin, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana
Ashanti, Ghana

My name is Dr Faizal Adams, lecturer with the Department of Agricultural Economics, Agribusiness and Extension at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. I am 37 years of age and a Ghanaian by nationality. At the University, I lecture courses including agriculture economics, production function analysis, agricultural policy analysis, agribusiness and financing.