Determinants of farm certification compliance for sustainable cocoa production in Ondo state, Nigeria
There is a remarkable downturn in cocoa production of recent due to low output and uncompetitive market prices. The situation has therefore led to an enormous gap in demand and supply of the produce to cocoa industries. The challenge now is how producers can sustainably cope with the needs of the ever growing and quality-inclined market. The study therefore investigates how farm certification is positioning the farmers to take advantage of the huge cocoa export market. Using multi-stage sampling procedure, 90 respondents were selected from the participating cooperatives societies in the study area. Interview schedule was used to collect data on socio-economic characteristics of the farmers, access to agricultural support services, farmers’ knowledge on farm certification measures, level of compliance and cocoa outputs. Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics (percentages, frequencies and means) and inferential statistics. (Pearson Product Moment Correlation and Regression Analysis) The results showed that majority (97.8%) of the farmers were male with mean age of 48 years. The farmers indicated good access to all the components of the support services except supply of fertilizers. The farmers had good knowledge in 18 out of the 19 knowledge test questions and had full compliance with farm certification measures. There was a significant relationship between farmers’ knowledge of farm certification measures and compliance with agronomic practices (r= 0.503, p≤ 0.01). The result of the regression analysis indicated farmers’ age (β=0.425), output (β=0.300), access to support services (β=0.262) and knowledge of agronomic practices (β=0.249) as the leading determinants of farm certification compliance among cocoa farmers in the study area. The farmers’ high level of compliance with agronomic practices indicated that they are prepared to derive economic benefits from the dynamics in cocoa export market. For sustainable compliance with farm certification, experienced cocoa farmers with track record of productivity should be enlisted into the subsequent schemes.