The Socio-Economic Position of Cocoa Producers - Paper Example

2021-07-28 21:16:49
6 pages
1480 words
University/College: 
Carnegie Mellon University
Type of paper: 
Article
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IntroductionThe study further the research on economic analysis of resources utilization efficiency of cocoa production in Cameroon. The study seeks to unveil the socio-economic position of cocoa producers in Lekie Division, an area located north of the capital Yaounde. The study explores several parameters that relate to cocoa farming, key include mechanization, labour mobility and sizes of lands.

MethodologyA quantitative research design will be employed because it best interprets the survey into descriptive statistics, hence giving the study a reliable numerical output. The methodology is a sister technique based on the earlier article associated with this research, which in that case used experimental research design.

ResultsThe study proves that Lekie Division suffers from cocoa production because of poor mobility of factors of production, as well low incentives and lack of sufficient knowledge.

ConclusionGiven the low cocoa yields, the study concludes that the area should improve the production process by mechanizing labour as well improving the product distribution process, including improving the packaging process, as well controlling distribution channels. In general, the area needs more incentives from the government.

1 IntroductionInvestigating factors crippling cocoa production is important because cocoa as a product has been performing very well in the market. Cocoa makes several products, including the successful daily meal. However, farmers in cocoa producing countries are naturally impoverished because of lack of information on production and sales. Cocoa production has greatly changed as compared to the colonial times. During colonial times, cocoa production succeeded because the farms were largely virgin, and colonial administrators used forced labour to administer the production []. However, due to an aggregate of failures within the local and national wide level, cocoa production has diminished slowly to almost sorry status []. The study further notes that challenges of long term sustainability had a significant impact on the economic and social dimensions of farmers []. As such, this primary research identifies the situation, by conducting a survey. The survey is uplifted from a sister article associated with this report. The sister article was involved in another level of research. However, the data has been modified based on the questions of this report.

1.1 BackgroundCameroon has a huge potential in relation to agriculture production. More so, Lekie Division of Cameroon is endowed with huge economic potential in terms of the agricultural resources. Statistics presented in the sister article related to this study indicate that Lekie division enjoys agriculture. Lekie division covers 2,989Km2, with a soaring population of 354, 864, on full production of Cocoa. Lekie is located near Cameroon capital city, Yaounde hence transportation is not a major problem. Cameroon agriculture is part of the livelihoods in safeguarding the health, food security and children security. Given the offset of declining income, agriculture seems the only viable option to adjust growth in the city. During the years 1975-1983, Cameroonian faced structural adjustment programs which allowed successful economic performance associated with rising investments, exports and consumption, a factor that was noted by Kalijaran on his analysis on Economic efficiency of high yielding farmers in India . Given its dense rainy forests, divisions such as Lekie seems to enjoy better from the decentralization and capitalization of agriculture. So far, Lekie division depends directly and indirectly from agriculture. Agriculture creates 70% of employment, 40% export earnings and 30% foreign exchange and the same exact percentage of Gross Domestic Product []

Poverty can be reduced through agriculture due to the high income it produces especially through the process of production and consumption.

Research shows that perhaps the use of agriculture to eradicate poverty may just be a theory since it is failing in its mandate to stimulate economic growth in Africa because of low productivity []. Low productivity means that a country can no longer rely on agriculture for foreign currency. It also means the sector can no longer afford to create employment for its local people. To change the status quo, an increase in agricultural productivity will be required. The increase will be used to increase the income of poor people because agriculture plays a catalytic role in the growth and development process given its low productivity []. The improvement of productivity would, therefore, be a determining factor in improving the living standards of individuals. The increased productivity will have an economic impact in many African countries. For example in a country such as Lekie, agriculture is still the main economic activity for its people. It is mainly the source of income for the poor people in the country and most of them grow Cocoa on their farms. Approximately 90% of Lekie citizens indulge in small-scale production of cocoa.

Following the knowledge on agricultural potentiality, the study that was done in Lekie Division, in Cameroon on the economic analysis of resource utilization efficiency in the area shows that there is a positive connection between cocoa production and the area of cultivated land []. The land production factor is not significant at the 10% threshold. The low elasticity of the land factor (0.181) is due to the old age of the cocoa farms in the area that was studied. Many cocoa fields are more than 30 years old, and farmers are required to renew the farm by using of fertilizers to fertilize the soil. In the division of Lekie a large number of cocoa farmers (72.50%) do not use fertilizers to fertilize the soil of their farms. Soil rotation should be done to improve fertility. Similarly, the labor factor impacts positively on the cocoa production in the Lekie. The low elasticity of the labor factor (0.194) is warranted by the small number of farmers trained in cocoa cultivation. 23 out of 40 farmers have gained practical training in cocoa cultivation. It means that the rest are yet master the new agricultural techniques in cocoa cultivation. Despite a large number of workers required to harvest cocoa, the labor factor remains unproductive. A similar result was found in Nigeria. The study shows that the increased use of fungicide and insecticide (pesticides) in the Lekie cocoa fields led to an increase in cocoa production. There is high elasticity in pesticides that can be used for agricultural use. Use of pesticides makes it possible to control insects and brown rot which attack cocoa thus leading to a healthy plant.

 

2.0 MethodologyQuantitative research methodology was proposed for this research because it easily dealt with numerical values from the survey, and parallel data harvested from online sources. The research methodology describes the model of harvesting and interpreting data, hence enabling a stronger approach to dealing with the hypothesis.

2.1 Study AreaLekie is a division in Central Cameroon. As noted earlier, the division has a population of 354,864 people covering an area of 2,989 Km2; the region is occupied fully with agricultural related activities. The division is supplied with a river Lekie. Lekie division is estimated to produce at least 2.5 million tons of Cocoa agro forests, however, the area is still significantly impoverished. The table below best explains the production potentiality of the chief products on the ground. It is important to compare all production because they explain the economic viability, based on the economic principle of Alternative Foregone.

Tables showing system performance

Lekie

Metric Tones Total

Current Levels 33.2 100

Annual Food 16.6 50

Biennal Food 6.2 19

Cocoa 6.8 21

Forest land 3.7 11

Primordial Levels 91.8 144.7

Current Levels as % of Primodial 36% 74%

Average C/ha Average C/ha 111t 229t

Table 1: Age group of farmers and mean output

age group of farmers

(years) frequency percentage Mean ouput

(kg)

23 33 10 25 1114.2

34 39 8 20 983.75

43 53 13 32 1209.23

55 69 9 23 1864.44

 

Total 40

100

Source: The author, based on the survey data for 2017

2.2 Socioeconomic Data CollectionThe researcher adopts social economic data collection because it helps integrate scarce rural data into the necessary data clusters, a scheme advocated by Mukete et al. on the analysis of technical efficiency of cocoa producers in Cameroon []. Data categories are technical, biological, geological, and physical and surveys from the case study. Each of these data will contribute towards the generation of sufficient documentation of data source. The socio-economic data compares the total metric tons of cocoa production as compared to the relative standards of living. Quantitative findings provide an effective methodology to compare the real livelihoods of the people of Lekie.

2.3 Data AnalysisThe proposed data analysis methodology is quantitative research design. The researcher applies grounded theory to extract data from the sister study of this research. The proposed quantitative design uses both organized and structured development to ensure effective reasoning of data is applied. Based on the grounded theory, it was easier to formulate the hypothetical situation. The grounded research design allows conceptualization of data based on the established tiers of abstraction. The abstraction applies strong deductive reasoning where collective participation is applied to determine the nature of the structural units of the data analysis. Given the grounded theory applies reasoned judgments based on numerical facts, descriptive statistics applied at the primary level help in the development of structural units. Most of the data is based on qualitative findings, implying that information is mediated and accessed through triangulated descriptive statistics. The descriptive statistics are coherent with the grounded theory allowing for stronger interconnection between a combined group of conceptual hyp...

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