Does awareness and concern for the environment influence the useof detrimental inputs? A study of maize farmers in Ghana

Mavis Boimah

Sustainable food systems are necessary not only as a channel for addressing the food security needs of the world’s growing population, but are also crucial in ensuring that the needs of future generations are not compromised. This study examined the influence of environmental awareness and concern about the use of detrimental inputs in crop production. The study involved 400 maize farmers from the Northern Region of Ghana, and made use of multivariate multiple linear regression and the translog profit function for the data analysis. The results show that farmers with characteristics including being male, the head of the household, the decision maker on the farm, receiving frequent extension visits and being the owner of the farm, along with the nature of the farm plot, significantly determine the level of farmers’ environmental awareness and concern. Moreover, environmental awareness and concern have a significant effect on the use of detrimental inputs in production. The results contribute to an understanding of the importance of knowledge in facilitating actions towards environmental conservation. Environmental awareness campaigns are thus relevant to the promotion of sustainable agricultural production and should be championed by governments, development agencies and NGOs.