African Cocoa Farmers Need to Increase Fungicide Use

Black Pod

Black Pod

70% of the world’s supply of cocoa, a key crop for producing chocolate, comes from small farms in West Africa. In this hot, moist tropical environment, cocoa trees flourish but so do organisms that infect the cocoa pods causing diseases-particularly black pod disease. Fungicides are used to a limited extent by West African farmers, but they are not sprayed often enough to prevent the disease organisms from causing significant damage. As a result, African cocoa yields and farmer incomes are low. Research has shown that for optimal yields and income, West African cocoa farmers need to spray fungicides more frequently as a recent economic analysis determined…..

“Essentially fungicides were not overused – in most cases, it was shown that net returns could be increased by using more fungicide in the study area. Specifically farmers in Osun State would have to double their current use rate to optimize fungicide use while their counterparts in Ondo State would have to triple theirs to achieve the same goal.

Based on the results of this study, it is suggested that cocoa farmers increase the quantity of fungicide used per hectare as the ratio of the marginal productivity to unit cost of fungicide is greater than unity among the respondents.”

Author: A.A. Tijani
Affiliation: Department of Agricultural Economics, Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria
Title: Economic benefits of fungicide use among cocoa farmers in Osun and Ondo states of Nigeria
Source: J. Soc. Sci., 12(1):63-70 (2006)