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Seasonal Variations in Climatic Elements and Cocoa Production: Evidence from Central Region, Ghana

Baah, Ackom Justice (2016): Seasonal Variations in Climatic Elements and Cocoa Production: Evidence from Central Region, Ghana.

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Abstract Undoubtedly, cocoa production is the backbone of Ghana’s economy. In spite of the recent transition to an industry and service sector-led economy, agriculture still plays a fundamental role in Ghana’s economic activities. The study aimed at examining the seasonal variations in climatic elements and cocoa production in the Central Region of Ghana. The Microsoft Excel Function of Linear Trend as well as line charts were used to analyze the trend of seasonal variations in climatic elements in the Region. The Line chart, trend line, trend equation and the degree of variation within the excel function were used to determine the nature and direction of the trend of the quarterly rainfall, temperature (maximum and minimum), relative humidity and seasonal cocoa output. Again, the inter-annual anomalies for the time series data (temperature, relative humidity, rainfall and cocoa output) were calculated using the Microsoft Excel software to assess the year to year variability of the climatic variables over a five-year period (2010 to 2014) in the two Districts in the Central Region. This data was taken from the Ghana metrological agency and the produce Buying Company Ghana (PBC) in central region, Ghana. It is evident from the study that, there are seasonal variations in climatic elements in the study area. Also, seasonal variations in Temperature, precipitation and relative humidity play a considerable role in cocoa production in Central Region, Ghana. It was established that extreme temperature adversely affected cocoa output in the sub-region. An important implication of this study is the recognition that seasonal variations in climatic elements’ effects are the determinants of cocoa output and not coincident effects. This finds support from the agronomic point of view considering the gestation period of the cocoa crop.

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