Social learning among Ghanaian cocoa farmers: Choosing the optimal amounts of inputs
|Author:||Mgr. David Švenka|
|Year:||2013 - summer|
|Leaders:|| doc. Petr Janský Ph.D.
|Work type:|| Finance, Financial Markets and Banking
|Awards and prizes:|
|Abstract:||In this thesis I inspect learning about adoption of technologies among cocoa farmers in Ghana, which are
represented by non-labor inputs, particularly by fertilizer and hybrid seeds. Earlier research focused
mainly on learning about returns associated with adoption of such innovative inputs. However, it is not
clear whether the adopters learn about these returns or rather about what are the optimal amounts of
these inputs. Therefore the focus of this thesis is to examine how do the farmers choose and learn about
optimal amounts of inputs. Cocoa farming is very labor intensive, and thus this thesis concentrates on
learning about both non-labor and labor inputs, which are closely connected. Similar research carried out
in India suggests that heterogeneous returns among farmers might cause that the farmers rely rather on
their own considerations than on observation of behavior of their village neighbors, i.e. social learning.
The heterogeneous returns are also present among the Ghanaian cocoa farmers, which suggest that these
farmers should similarly prefer individual learning over the social one. Using a model developed for
estimation of the prevailing type of learning about the optimal amount of inputs, I show that the farmers
do tend to prefer individual learning in case of the non-labor inputs but rather rely on social learning in
case of the labor inputs.