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     Mothers’ non-farm entrepreneurship and child secondary education in rural Ghana

Janssens, Charlotte; Van den Broeck, Goedele; Maertens, Miet; Lambrecht, Isabel 2018
In this paper we empirically analyse the impact of mothers’ non-farm entrepreneurship on child secondary school enrollment in rural Ghana. We use nationally representative quantitative data from the sixth round of the Ghana Living Standard Survey (GLSS) and qualitative data from focus group discussions throughout rural Ghana. We apply instrumental variable estimation techniques with instruments that pass weak and overidentification tests. We test interaction effects between mothers’ non-farm entrepreneurship and other important determinants of child schooling. We use qualitative data to support our quantitative findings.

     The devolution revolution: Implications for agricultural service delivery in Ghana

Resnick, Danielle 2018
In 2009, Ghana began pursuing the devolution of functions and responsibilities from the central government to the country’s 216 Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Assemblies (MMDAs). Agriculture was among one of the first sectors to be devolved, a process that became effective in 2012. This paper analyzes how this transition has proceeded, with a focus on the implications for agricultural civil servants within the MMDAs, accountability to citizens, and agricultural expenditures. Empirically, the paper draws on a survey of 960 rural households, 80 District Directors of Agriculture (DDAs), district level budget data from 2012 to 2016, and semi-structured interviews with a range of national and local government stakeholders.

     Agricultural mechanization in Ghana: Insights from a recent field study

Diao, Xinshen; Agandin, John; Fang, Peixun; Justice, Scott E.; Kufoalor, Doreen S.; Takeshima, Hiroyuki 2018
Ghana is one of a few African countries where agricultural mechanization has recently undergone rapid development. Except for places in the forest zone where stumps are still an issue in fields, tractors used for plowing and maize shelling have been widely adopted even among small farmers. Medium- and large-scale farmers who own tractors provide the majority of mechanization services. Recognizing this fundamental fact is important for designing any effective mechanization policy, which should aim at the entire service market instead of targeting a selected group of service providers as beneficiaries. Tractor owners and operators are often discouraged from traveling long distances to plow only a few acres for individual small farmers, which becomes a considerable barrier for smallholders to access tractor services on time. This requires the government consider mechanisms to improve coordination among small farmers and to encourage Farmer Based Organizations (FBOs) to facilitate such coordination. The use of harrowing or second-plowing has been shown as a productivity-enhancing farming practice but it is currently under-demanded by farmers. A pilot program to address the coordination failures and to nudge small farmers to adopt harrowing services together can be considered.

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     Does warehouse receipt financing benefit Ghanaian smallholders?

Miranda, Mario; Mulangu, Francis; Kemeze, Francis H.; Kolavalli, Shashidhara 2018
In practice, however, warehouse receipt financing has generally failed to deliver the benefits to smallholders hoped for by development economists and practitioners. In Ghana, and more generally throughout Africa, warehouse receipt financing is currently used almost exclusively by large traders, processors, and exporters. In this brief, we explore reasons why smallholders have shunned warehouse receipt financing and discuss policy prescriptions that could make warehouse receipt financing more accessible and beneficial to them.

     What are the impacts of devolution on agricultural civil servants and services in Ghana?

Resnick, Danielle 2018
In 2009, Ghana passed Local Government Instrument 1961 (LI 1961) to devolve a set of functions from the central government to the country’s 216 Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Assemblies (MMDA). Agriculture, along with public works and social welfare, was among the first sectors to be devolved. This transfer was formally institutionalized in 2012. In addition, LI 1961 stipulated that the staff of the MMDA departments were to be transferred from the national civil service to a newly created Local Government Services (LGS). A composite budget system also was introduced, which integrated the budgets of all departments of the MMDAs into the overall budget for the MMDA.

     A spatial analysis of youth livelihoods and rural transformation in Ghana

Diao, Xinshen; Silver, Jed 2017
Ghana’s population is becoming younger and increasingly urbanized – by 2010, over half the population lived in urban settlements of more than 5,000 people – raising concerns among policy makers regarding the location and types of jobs required to employ the youth. The slow creation of for-mal urban jobs has particularly strong implications for young people entering the labor force: they are more educated than the older generation, with greater aspirations for non-farm employment and urban lifestyles (Anyidoho, Leavy, and Asenso-Okyere 2012). Without rapid industrialization to create more formal manufacturing and other non-agricultural jobs, youth in Ghana who leave the agricultural sector are increasingly likely to resort to informal services in both rural and urban areas. While much youth-related research has focused on changes in youth employment and livelihoods through rural-urban migration, a re-cent IFPRI Discussion Paper focuses on youth in the rural non-farm economy (Diao et al. 2017).

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     Agronomic performance of open pollinated and hybrid maize varieties: Results from on-farm trials in northern Ghana

Van Asselt, Joanna; DI Battista, Federica; Kolavalli, Shashidhara; Udry, Christopher R. 2018
Maize is an important staple crop in Ghana, but maize productivity is low. Other countries with similar agroecological conditions have increased maize productivity by increasing the use of maize hybrids. This paper presents the results of maize trials in northern Ghana, in which hybrids were tested to see if they performed significantly better than the varieties planted by farmers. This paper details the procedures of the maize trials and presents descriptive statistics of the trial results. The trials demonstrated that two foreign hybrids performed consistently better than Obaatanpa, the most widely used variety in the north. The foreign hybrids performed consistently well in all districts and appear to be well-suited for planting in northern Ghana.

     Performance and adoption factors for open pollinated and hybrid maize varieties: Evidence from farmers’ fields in northern Ghana

Van Asselt, Joanna; DI Battista, Federica; Kolavalli, Shashidhara; Udry, Christopher R.; Baker, Nate 2018
Maize is the most widely grown starch in Ghana, and yet domestic supply does not meet demand, because maize productivity is low. Trials were performed in northern Ghana in 2015 to determine whether hybrid varieties would outperform the varieties planted by farmers and, therefore, increase maize productivity. Two foreign hybrids performed consistently better then Obaatanpa, the most widely used variety in the north. In 2016, Adikanfo, the best performing hybrid, and certified Obaatanpa were made available for purchase at subsidized rates in the communities where the 2015 trials had been conducted. A survey was then carried out to study whether the trials had any effect on technology uptake or behavioral change among farmers in the region and if the varieties performed as well on the farmers’ fields as in the trials. This paper presents the descriptive results of the survey.

     Identifying priority value chains in Ghana

Hartley, Faaiqa; Arndt, Channing 2018
This working paper identifies agricultural activities and value chains in Ghana whose expansion is most effective at generating economic growth, reducing national and rural poverty, creating jobs, and improving nutrition by diversifying diets. The Rural Investment and Policy Analysis (RIAPA) model of the Ghanaian economy is used to estimate how increasing production in different agricultural sectors leads to changes in national and household outcomes.1 RIAPA captures linkages between sectors and rural-urban economies, as well as changes throughout the agriculture-food system (AFS).

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