Exploring uses of mobile phones in pineapple production and its livelihood benefits for Ffarmers in Akwapim south district, Ghana.

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The study explores the use of mobile phone in pineapple production and the benefits farmers gain from this usage in the Akwapim South district of Ghana. It uses a sequential mixed method research approach. A multistage sampling technique was used to select five major pineapple producing areas for an initial in-depth interview and subsequently administered a questionnaire to collect data on 125 farmers who were purposively sampled. The initial qualitative study helps in mapping out the supply chain of pineapple production in the area. The study reveals that farmers use mobile phones to coordinate input supply, gather information on the market, facilitate the exchange of agricultural information and access financial services. This helps them ascertain information on produce prices and demand trend that empowers them to negotiate for better prices. Specifically, about 93.6% of the pineapple farmers perceived that the use of mobile phones improves their communication whiles 92% of the farmers perceived that it improves their access to information on market and agricultural information. In the end, farmers indicated an improvement in their livelihoods with the use of mobile phones. Although farmers benefit from the use of mobile phones, they are particularly concerned about high call tariffs and the growing mobile money fraud. Therefore, the study recommends the need to make the use of mobile phone affordable and improvement in security measures to reduce the incidence of mobile money fraud. Additionally, the study recommends further studies to focus on the use of mobile phone by the major players in the supply chain to identify ways of improving the efficiency of the pineapple supply chain with the use of mobile phone.
Thesis submitted to the Department of Business Administration, Ashesi University, in partial fulfillment of Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, April 2018
mobile phone, pineapple production, information, sustainable livelihood framework, farmers