Chapter one


Background of the study


Theobroma cacao L (Sterculiaceae), also referred to as “food of the gods,” is a significant economic tropical tree whose center of origin is believed to be in several native areas of the tropical rainforest of equatorial America or Upper Amazon (Allen and Lass, 1983; Motamayor et al., 2002; Bailey et al., 2005). It thrives in latitudes between 20oN and 20oS of the equator But the majority of the crop is grown between latitudes 10oN and 10oS. (Anim-Kwapong et al., 2002).After coffee and sugar, cocoa is the third-most important agricultural export product in the world. For the many nations that control production, cocoa is a significant source of foreign cash. In terms of the size of worldwide crop production, it is also a significant cash crop in many tropical nations, ranking alongside other important bean and nut commodities (World Wildlife Fund, 2006; World Cocoa Foundation, 2010). A source of income for an estimated 40–50 million people globally, including five million cocoa growers, cocoa is grown on more than 7.5 million hectares (World Cocoa Foundation, 2010). Over 90% of the world’s cocoa is grown by smallholder farmers, whose plots of land are smaller than ten hectares (ha). These farmers use little to no fertilizer and agrochemicals (International Cocoa Organization, 2005; 2010).A significant economic resource for many tropical nations is cocoa (Browna et al., 2007; Lanaud et al., 2009). Over 80,000 smallholder farm families are employed in the cocoa industry alone (Asamoah and Baah, 2003; Frimpong et al., 2007), accounting for 19% of rural households and providing 70% to 100% of smallholder farmers’ yearly household incomes (Breisinger et al., 2008). From 2000 to 2004, cocoa’s contribution to Ghana’s agricultural GDP climbed from 13.7 percent to 18.9 percent in 2005/2006 2. (Breisinger et al., 2008). It is necessary to examine the ecosystem more critically in order to strengthen the aspects of the system that have a favorable impact on cocoa yields in order to continue such tremendous growth in output (Gockowski, 2007).

As 70% of the world’s cocoa is farmed in this subregion (World Cocoa Foundation, 2010), West Africa has long been the epicenter of cocoa farming. Its production has been noted in agricultural reports since 1556. (Johns, 1999).

In comparison to other agricultural pursuits, cocoa production has contributed significantly to the economic expansion and prosperity of various West African nations (Duguma et al., 2001). After Ivory Coast, Ghana produces the most cocoa (ICCO, 2007; Filou and Kenny, 2009). Together, the two nations produce around 72% of the world’s cocoa (Vigneri, 2007)

Statement of the problem


The scientific study of plant-pollinator interactions, or pollination ecology, takes into account factors such as individual species’ distribution patterns, life histories, floral phenology, foraging energies, and behavior, as well as the structure and operation of natural systems at the level of populations, communities, and ecosystems. Pollinators are essential for ecosystem health (Kearns et al., 1998), yet managing pollination systems is a relatively new and untested concept (Kearns and Inouye, 1997). This is true of cocoa because of its distinctive characteristics, such as its cauliflory and pollination system, which are shared by just a small number of tropical plants (Bos et al., 2007). The synchronization between the pollinator population cycle, the floral phenology of cocoa trees, and the efficacy of pollination is a critical problem in cocoa pollination ecology (Young, 1983).Over the years, various researchers have determined that midges (Forcipomyia spp.) of the family Ceratopogonidae are the insects that cross-pollinate to produce cocoa, which is an entomophilous plant (Posnette, 1950; Entwistle, 1972; Kaufman, 1975; Cilas, 1987; Klein et al., 2008; Groeneveld et al., 2010). Additionally, Winder and Silva (1972) hypothesized that one external limiting factor governing cocoa fruit set was insect pollination. Since 1925, pollination of the cocoa plant has drawn attention ; nevertheless, little is known about the pollination processes that result in the development of the fruits, which in turn increase the output of the tree. Over 90% of the blooms produced by cocoa trees, according to Stephenson (1981) and Bos et al. (2007), fall after opening. As a result, only 10% of the total blooms produced are successful in pollinating 5. Even the actions of midges on the cocoa crop contribute to this low success rate. The study will then look at the variables influencing the use of hand pollination by cocoa growers in Nigeria’s Ondo state.

Purpose of the study

The purpose of this study is to examine the factors affecting adoption of hand pollination technique by cocoa farmers in Ondo state of Nigeria. Specifically the study:

  1. assess the various types of pollination technique used by farmers in ondo state
  2. determine the importance of hand pollination to cocoa farmers in ondo state
  3. assess why farmers prefer hand pollination to other pollination technique in ondo state
    1. Significance of the study

Given the importance of cocoa to world economy it is not surprising that there is a plethora of documentation on its cultivation. However this study will contribute to the body of literature as it provides information on the pollination techniques used by farmers and the relevance of hand pollination.

    1. Study hypothesis

The study hypothesis is:

HO: there is no significant difference between factors affecting the adoption of hand pollination

H1: there is a significant difference between factors affecting the adoption of hand pollination

    1. Scope and Limitations of the Study

The study scope is limited to investigating factors affecting the adoption of hand pollination in Ondo state. the case study is further limited to small scale farmers in the state. Limitation faced by the research was limited time and financial constraint

    1. Definition of Basic terminologies

Productivity: in this study, Productivity, is a term used to describe the rate of production in an ecosystem, and is an important functional property for both the natural and agricultural ecosystems

Pollination: the transfer of pollen to a stigma, ovule, flower, or plant to allow fertilization

Soil degradation: Soil degradation is the decline in soil condition caused by its improper use or poor management, usually for agricultural, industrial or urban purposes

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