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Towards the Implementation of Precision Agriculture in Cocoa Production in Ghana: Evidence from the Cocoa High Technology Programme in the Eastern Region of Ghana

Faculty of Agriculture, University of Ilorin
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  • Agricultural Science
  • Political Science


Precision agriculture is defined as an information and technological based farm management system to identify, analyse and manage variability within fields for optimum profitability, sustainability and protections of the land resource. The main goal is to manage and distribute inputs on site- specific basis to maximise long term benefits. Even though Ghana is the second largest producer of cocoa in the world, its average annual yield is abysmal (350 kg/ha) compared to other cocoa producing countries (Côte d'Ivoire=800 kg/ha, Malaysia = 1700 kg/ha).The government of Ghana introduced the Cocoa High Technology Programme (CHTP) with the aim of increasing productivity of cocoa farms. A survey of 200 cocoa farmers, who had adopted the technology in the Eastern Region of Ghana in 2006, was conducted with the aim of estimating how effective cocoa farmers had applied the main components of the CHTP as well as the precision that comes with the programme. The results showed that none of the farmers did soil testing - a precondition for site- specific application - before fertilizer application. Although almost all (99.5%) the farmers applied the fertilizer, they did not use the prescribed ring-method of application that ensures that each cocoa tree has optimal amount of nutrient needed. Barely half (42%) of the farmers applied it at the recommended time. Main reasons given for the farmers’ inability to use the precision that came with the CHTP included lack of awareness of the need to perform soil testing, late distribution of fertilizers to farmers and inadequate training of farmers on the precise methods of applying the technologies. The aforesaid constraints, among others, militated against the achievement of the target set by the programme. Several recommendations were made which could make precision agriculture feasible in the cocoa industry in Ghana and other cocoa producing countries.Keywords: Precision Agriculture, Cocoa High Technology Programme (CHTP), East Ghana.

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