Participation in Agricultural Extension and Labor Productivity: A Case Study of Smallholder Farmers in Ghana

Benjamin Tetteh Anang, Sylvester Nsobire Ayambila


Low agricultural productivity remains one of the main factors influencing poverty and food insecurity among smallholder farmers in many developing countries. Among the key interventions assumed to influence agricultural productivity of smallholders is the provision of agricultural extension services to farmers. Access to agricultural extension however remains low in most developing countries thus slowing down agricultural productivity growth. This study therefore sought to determine the labor productivity effects of agricultural extension in northern Ghana using data from a cross-section of 300 smallholder farm households. The results of a binary probit model indicated that participation in agricultural extension increased with farming experience, farm size, access to irrigation and group membership but decreased with years of formal education and household size. Regression estimates of a labor productivity model revealed a positive and statistically significant relationship between agricultural extension and labor productivity. Also, labor productivity increased with farming experience, household income, access to irrigation, degree of specialization in production and the level of conventional inputs used per man-day of labor but decreased with participation in off-farm work. The authors recommend an increase in agricultural extension coverage to ensure that more farmers are reached with information on modern technologies to enhance their labor productivity. Furthermore, farmers need access to inputs such as seed and fertilizer to improve the productivity of labor.


Labor productivity; agricultural extension; smallholder farmers; Ghana

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ISSN 1869-6945


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