Is mango farming sustainable? An integrated analysis of remote sensing techniques and smallholder farmers’ perception in mango farming communities in Ghana
In sub-Sahara Africa, sustainable agricultural sector has been trumpeted as the surest way for livelihood transformation through poverty reduction and ensuring food and nutritional security. Using mango farming as a case study, the paper determines how sustainable agriculture can be achieved by examining the environmental, social and economic impacts of mango farms in a rural setting. Qualitative and quantitative approaches were used to collect primary data from 400 respondents from the Shai Osu-Doku and Yilo-Krobo Districts of the Greater Accra and Eastern Regions respectively of Ghana. Secondary data, especially Landsat images between 2000 and 2020 were acquired and analysed. The quantitative data were analysed using descriptive statistics and cross-tabulations, while the qualitative data were analysed using thematic analysis and quotations from respondents. The findings show some positive outlook socioeconomically and environmentally. Socioeconomically, mango farming has led to an increase in incomes for farmers, reduced out-migration of the youth, ensured food security, and provided enough money to take of children’s’ education, health, and other social needs of the families. Environmentally, there is an improvement in the vegetal cover which has a positive impact on carbon sequestration, air filtering and soil conservation. The study confirms the sustainability of mango production as it is a viable business, provides good incomes and ensures access to food. To ensure sustainability and livelihood transformation, we recommend policies and measures to put in place to reduce the challenges that smallholder mango producers face to sustain and promote mango production.