Impact of farmer field schools on cabbage production in two districts of Ashanti and Brong Ahafo regions of Ghana

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Cabbage production is constrained by myriad of pest infestations reducing the farmers’ profit margin substantially. The objectives of the present study was to evaluate the effect of different land preparation methods, reduce the use of conventional toxic pesticides in the management of cabbage pests, and make comparison of recorded parameters to determine change in pest density, injury and yield in two regions of Ghana. The effect of three different land preparation methods: planting on the flat, ridge and raised bed on pest infestations and yield of cabbage was investigated in 2012 and 2013 at Asiwa and Dormaa Ahenkro in Ghana respectively using Farmer Field School (FFS). This is a participatory method of learning, technology development, and dissemination. In the IPM fields, every pest management/ intervention was preceded by regular monitoring of pest populations to determine the need for chemical intervention. Data collected included insect pest population, plant injury and yield. Results indicated that there were no significant differences (P > 0.05) among the three different land preparation methods under both research (IPM) and Farmers practice for any of the parameters measured. However, comparison of recorded parameters to determine either per cent decrease or increase over farmers practice gave some remarkable difference from both locations. IPM technologies generated and transferred to the farmers through FFS would reduce the use of conventional pesticides in the management of cabbage pests, thus resulting in vegetables that are safer to produce and consume.