Greener Journal of Agricultural Sciences Vol. 3 (8), pp. 606-617, August 2013.
Manuscript Number: 022713505
Climate Variability and Cocoa Production in Meme Division of Cameroon: Agricultural Development Policy options
*1Jude Ndzifon Kimengsi and 2Joseph Ngong Tosam
1Pan African Institute for Development West Africa, Buea.
2Department of Economics and Management, University of Buea, Cameroon.
*Corresponding Author’s Email: ukjubypro2 @ yahoo.com
This study examines the effect of climate variability on
cocoa production which is the mainstay of the population of
Meme Division. Meme Division stands as one of the highest
cocoa producing divisions of the Cameroon. Field studies
accompanied by the administration of 155 questionnaires (50
each for Kumba and Mbonge Subdivisions and 55 for Konye
Subdivision) were employed. Information on climatic
variables (temperature and rainfall) and cocoa output for 21
years (1990-2010) was also obtained. The data was analyzed
with the use of the four point likert scale survey and the
coefficient of variation (CV). The results showed that the
CV for rainfall (15.1%) and temperature (11.0%) all exceeded
the variability threshold of 10% indicating that they
exhibit significant variability. Trend analysis for cocoa
output shows that unusual variations were experienced in
some years. This was further confirmed by the Jarque-Bera
statistics of 0.68 (P-Value = 0.71) which indicates that the
output of cocoa is not normally distributed over time. It
was also observed that the increasing unpredictability of
rainfall and temperatures tend to confuse the cocoa crop and
the farmers as their traditional farming calendar have been
distorted; no sooner has the cocoa crop been able to adjust
with the new climatic scenario than they are confronted with
a different pattern. Furthermore, farmers noted a drop in
cocoa output per hectare. This has led to a reduction in
incomes realised giving rise to limited possibility for
expansion. It is seemingly evident that their present
adaptation strategies are yet to contain this ugly
situation. The study suggests a number of agricultural
development planning options which the government and the
local population can embark on to develop a resilience
framework for cocoa farmers in Meme Division in the face of
expected variability in climate.
Keywords: Climate variability, Cocoa, pests and diseases, livelihood, agricultural planning.
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