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Date of this Version

2014

Abstract

Purpose: This paper aims to investigate the information needs of cocoa farmers in Oda, Asamankese, Kade and Nkawkaw districts in the Eastern Region of Ghana. It seeks to identify the value cocoa farmers place on information, the various sources and services of information available to them and the level of satisfaction they derive from these sources and services.

Design/methodology/approach: This paper used the survey research. It made use of both the purposive and snowball sampling techniques to select the 4 communities and 160 respondents respectively. A total of 136 questionnaires out of 160 questionnaires that were administered were retrieved. The data were complemented by literature available. The responses were presented and analyzed based on the objectives of the study.

Findings: The study revealed among other things that cocoa farmers are aware of the pivotal role information plays in their activities. It again showed that the farmers tend to trust and use the informal sources of information available to them than the formal sources. It came to light that even though the farmers are content with the sources of information available to them, if stakeholders in the sector make efforts to educate farmers more on information sources available to them, they would appreciate it much.

Research limitations/implications: Time constraints could not allow the researcher to cover all the cocoa growing communities in Ghana.

Practical implications: It recommends an effective way of meeting information needs of cocoa farmers.

Originality/value: This paper justifies a recognized need to study how cocoa farmers meet their information needs in Ghana.

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