/ / / Cocoa farmers’ perceptions of soil organic carbon effects on fertility, management and climate change in the Ashanti region of Ghana
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Cocoa farmers’ perceptions of soil organic carbon effects on fertility, management and climate change in the Ashanti region of Ghana

Farmers can play an important role in mitigation through sustainable soil management practices. Semi-structured interviews were conducted in the Atwima Nwabiagya municipality of Ashanti region, Ghana, to explore farmers’ knowledge and perceptions of their soils, soil fertility, applied management practices, and climate change on soil organic carbon. The interviews included topics related to farmers’ access to training and its impact in adopting and changes in management strategies. Summary for interviews was prepared based on notes and recordings and analyzed with the Qualitative Content Analysis (QCAmap) software using emergent codes. Results show that farmers had a lot of knowledge on soil organic matter (SOM) and how it affects climate and the relationship between SOM and soil fertility. They also acknowledged that their management practices affect quantities of SOM in topsoil and subsoil and soil fertility. The adoption of current and new management practices including, the use of organic and inorganic fertilizers, manure, mulching, and shade management, is a reflection of their newly acquired knowledge and understanding of fertility sustaining processes.  The study highlights the relationship between farmers’ training and changes in their adopted practices and how management practices affect SOC influencing climate change and soil fertility.

Key words: soil organic carbon, cocoa farmers, perception, soil management, soil fertility and climate change.

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