Abstract

Preference for improved varietal attributes of Bambara groundnut among smallholder farmers in Ghana

This paper examines farmers’ preferences for an improved Bambara groundnut variety, the key attributes desired, factors influencing preference, and the number of attributes desired by smallholder farmers in Ghana. Using data collected from 113 randomly selected households growing Bambara in the Wenchi and Nkoranza municipalities in southern Ghana, we estimate the factors influencing preference decisions and the intensity of the desired attributes using probit and Poisson regression models respectively. Preference for an improved Bambara variety is influenced by experience in farming, availability of extension services, credit access, membership of farmer-based organisations, plant type, seed colour, household size and yielding capacity. The attributes desired the most by farmers are high yielding capacity, high protein content, branched plant type and seeds that are dark or brown in colour. Furthermore, key factors influencing the number of attributes desired in an improved Bambara variety include the farmer’s sex, education, years of experience in Bambara cultivation, household size, membership of farmer-based organisations and extension services. There is a need to consider these varietal attributes and the factors as integral to research and development efforts, as well as to the policy agenda, to enhance the adoption of improved Bambara varieties for increased productivity and incomes of smallholders in Ghana.