Book Release: Strategies and Priorities for African Agriculture
IFPRI recently released a book entitled “Strategies and Priorities for African Agriculture: Economy-wide Perspectives from Country Studies” that examines the potential of agriculture to contribute to national growth and poverty reduction in Africa and evaluates the costs of accelerating agricultural growth. The chapter on Ghana reviews the structure of agriculture and notes that, like many African countries, agriculture is mainly driven by land expansion rather than productivity.
Below are some of the key findings from the Ghanaian case study along with policy options for realizing the potential for agricultural growth and poverty reduction:
- By closing the existing yield gaps and achieving comparable productivity growth in the livestock sector, Ghana will be able to reach 6 percent average annual agricultural growth.
- Achieving productivity-led agricultural growth will require a significant increase in public investments in agriculture, rural infrastructure, and marketing. However, if the funds to support this agricultural growth come only from increased agricultural public investment, the government would need to double or triple its average share during 2000-2007, and it is unlikely that they could bear such costs alone.
- The government would need to achieve greater efficiency in its public spending and increase public spending on rural infrastructure, particularly feeder roads, alongside any increase in public agricultural expenditures.
- Improving the use and efficiency of agricultural inputs, as well as promoting cross-sectoral public investment programs that have large complementary effects will also be critical to achieving middle income status.