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Title: Contribution of Flora Diversity to Sustainable Livelihoods of Organic and Conventional Cocoa Farmers in the Atwima Mponua District
Authors: Asante,I.K.
Egyir, I.S.
Bandanaah, J.
University of Ghana, College of Humanities, School of Social Sciences, Department of Geography and Resource Development
Keywords: Contribution
Flora Diversity
Atwima Mponua District
Issue Date: Jul-2016
Publisher: University of Ghana
Abstract: The aim of the study was to determine the difference in flora diversity in two farming systems and how the diversity contributes to sustainable livelihoods of cocoa farmers in an era of changing climate in Atwima Mponua District of Ghana. Sixteen organic and sixteen conventional cocoa farms were selected in Gyereso and Pasoro in the district. In each farm, flora were sampled to include three life forms viz., trees, shrubs and herbs. Households were also interviewed with a structured questionnaire to ascertain flora contribution to livelihoods. Jaccard similarity and Shannon and Simpson diversity indices were measured to assess species similarity, abundance, evenness and dominance. The indicators used to describe sustainable livelihoods were food security, income, vulnerability and wellbeing. The key statistical tests employed in the study were the Mann-Whitney U, the Chi-square and the T-test. The results of the study showed that the level of life form abundance of organic farms is higher than that of conventional farms. Organic farms had more random and aggregated species distribution patterns than conventional. The Jaccard index of similarity obtained was 0.64 indicating a moderate similarity of flora species between the two farming systems. The Shannon index for organic farms (specie abundance and evenness) was slightly higher (0.808) than that of conventional farms (0.762); the Simpson indices (species dominance) were 0.051 and 0.084 for organic and conventional cocoa farms respectively. The results of the Mann-Whitney U test shows that, Shannon index of diversity was not statistically significant however, Simpson index of diversity was statistically significant (1%). The organic cocoa farmers studied consumed and sold more flora than their conventional counterparts; the general wellbeing (covering health cost) and resilience of the organic cocoa farmers studied was better than that of the conventional cocoa farmers. Since organic farming has more biodiversity and hence are more environmentally friendly, and households have better sustainable livelihoods outcomes, this study recommends the encouragement of farmers to practice organic farming as a climate smart option.
Description: Thesis (MPhil) - University of Ghana, 2015
Appears in Collections:Department of Geography and Resource Development

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