Stakeholders and policy implementers within the agricultural sector have been advised to identify and properly classify farmers for effective implementation of agricultural intervention policies.
Farmers, specifically smallholder tree-crop farmers, are a diverse group, hence the need to approach them with a different intervention procedure.
This was made known at the presentation in Accra of joint research findings conducted by some students of the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR) in Ghana; University of Amsterdam, Netherlands; and the University of Limbobo in South Africa.
Ms Martha Ataa-Asantewaa, a Ph.D candidate of the University of Amsterdam, said many agricultural intervention policies tends to focus on farmers in an abstract classification.
This, she said, often hindered such policies from reaching the targeted farmers and thereby preventing it from yielding desired outcomes.
She said it is important that farmers are engaged in right categorisations and their specific needs identified, to inform the objectives of policy intervention implementers.
"From the study, we noted that we are still going with credit and land issues but from all the study, even with the data, land never came up as an issue because farmers state whether they are into share cropping or hold the land by inheritance or it is a family land they are cultivating," she said.
The research, which forms part of the inclusive Value Chain Collaboration (VCC) programme, was aimed at identifying the diversity among tree-crop farmers for effective implementation of agricultural intervention initiatives.
It was led by the University of Amsterdam in partnership with UENR, University of Limbobo and ARC-LNR in South Africa, KIT Royal Tropical Institute and the Ghana Agricultural Associations Business and Information Centre (GAABIC).
It was funded by NWO-WOTRO Science for Global Development with support from Lindt.
The research was conducted in three regions namely Eastern, Western and Central and covered three districts and 18 communities and targeted smallholder tree-crop such as cocoa, oil palm, rubber, cashew and citrus among others, farmers.
Ms Ataa-Asantewaa called on government to replicate such studies in other parts of the country to ascertain the various categories of farmers and properly target them to ensure that intervention policies achieve the desired results.
As part of the VCC programme, farmers through a platform called "Learning Platform" were offered the opportunity to interact with experts, policy implementers and colleague farmers and to identify innovation potential.
It was aimed at exchanging knowledge on food security, enhancing peer-to-peer learning and to identify innovation potential in value chain collaboration among others.
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency, Dr Mirjam Ros-Tonen, the Project Coordinator, expressed satisfaction over the impact the project has had on both local farmers and the project coordinators.
She urged both government and the private sector players to adopt the learning platform concept and use it as a communication and knowledge sharing tool between themselves and farmers for the successful implementation of policies in the sector.
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