AN ANALYSIS OF THE AGRICULTURAL SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION SYSTEM FOR PLANTAIN (MUSA SPP.) IN GHANA
This study employs the Agricultural Science, Technology and Innovation (ASTI) systems analysis framework to assess the policy environment of Ghana, key plantain actors competencies and performance, and the effectiveness of linkages as indicators of innovation capacity. Data from over 358 respondents were collected. The results of the study show that the food and agriculture, and other subsector, policies specify strategies that directly or indirectly serve as an incentive framework for plantain (Musa spp.) development. Several plantain projects related to technology improvement and dissemination have been implemented and there has been significant growth in plantain yield from 5 to 9.7 t ha-1. The positive changes in habits and practices and competencies of key actors are clear; some farmers have adopted micro-propagation of new cultivars, integrated pest management, zero tillage and use of inorganic fertilizers. There are four firms in plantain flour production, whereas plantain chips (a snack) has been commercialised. However, the strongest linkage is still between farmers and traders; the weakest is between research and policy makers. Hence, the effectiveness of functions of research institution and extension agencies has been questioned. Although there is extension of new information, the adoption of improved technology is not widespread. Low budgetary support to governmental agencies, poor access to financial markets and high cost of inputs are listed as key constraints to improved performance. Government is called upon to increase budgetary allocation to statutory research and development agencies to sustain development and diffusion of new information, as well as policy dialoguing. Non-governmental organisations and the private sector should also intervene more strongly in credit provision and facilitation of farmer-based organisations (FBO). It is suggested that FBOs formalise their operations in order to improve linkages with research and extension institutions and together press for direct subsidy of disease-free micro-plantlets for members.
Egyir, I.S., Owusu-Bennoah, E., Anno-Nyako, F.O. and Banful, B. (2010). AN ANALYSIS OF THE AGRICULTURAL SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION SYSTEM FOR PLANTAIN (MUSA SPP.) IN GHANA. Acta Hortic. 879, 843-850
change, linkages, policy, private sector, small holders