LIST OF ABSTRACTS
VOLUME 2, NUMBER 1, MAY 2005
Title: Decentralization in a Pluralist State: Ethnic Identity, Resource Conflicts and Development in the East Gonja District of Ghana
Author: F. Z. L. Bacho
Decentralization has often been viewed as a panacea in the democratic articulation of multiple interests in a pluralist state. Others argue otherwise. The manipulative tendencies of the state often lead to inappropriate institutional frameworks that undermine the very democratic principles that decentralization seeks to provide. Using a concrete case of the multi-ethnic East Gonja District of Ghana, the author argues that decentralization does not always provide a framework for the articulation of sectional interests. He then goes on to illustrate how the lack of sensitivity to the issue of multi-ethnicity in crafting the institutional framework for decentralized development has generated unending ethnic conflicts since colonial times to the present. Among the damaging effects of the ethnic conflicts are the recurrent loss of life and property, displacement of the local population, disruption of livelihoods and above all the thwarting of the consensus building processes at both the district and community levels, thereby stalling the implementation of the decentralization process. He concludes that a conscious redefinition of the roles and authority boundaries of the traditional institutions to realign them with the current national decentralized district development framework is critical for the democratic participation of all ethnic and interests groups in this ethnically diverse and conflict ridden district.
TITLE: Factors Affecting the Adoption of Improved Sorghum Varieties among Farm Households in Northwest Ghana: A Probit Analysis
Author: John Baptist D. Jatoe, Ramatu M. Al-Hassan and Luke N. Abatania
In an attempt to boost sorghum production, the Savannah Agricultural Research Institute in Ghana, over the years, has released a number of improved sorghum varieties to farmers in northern Ghana. The purpose of this study was to estimate the level of adoption, and to identify the factors that influenced the adoption of the improved sorghum varieties, using a probit model. It was found that age, available family labour, non-farm income, farmers’ perception about the varieties, farm size and farm type positively influenced adoption while frequency of extension visits, the length of the fallow period and distance to the nearest purchase point of improved seed affected adoption negatively. Farmers’ choice of variety to plant depended on yield, maturity period, market value, taste and suitability for local dishes. Although the estimated level of adoption was 40% of the sample, the estimated area under the improved sorghum varieties was only 0.1% of sorghum area. For increased adoption of improved Sorghum varieties, the study recommends the following measures: (i) strengthening of research-extension-farmer linkages, (ii) intensified farmer education about the varieties, (iii) improvement in infrastructure and input distribution networks, (iv) active involvement of farmers in acquisition of inputs, (v) more sensitivity of research to farmer resource levels, (vi) empowering farmers to engage in non-farm income generating activities and (vii) a more concerted effort at technology transfer.