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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. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2018
    Abstract | Full Text
    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. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2018
    Abstract | Full Text
    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.
  • Understanding the measurement of women’s autonomy: Illustrations from Bangladesh and Ghana
    Seymour, Gregory; Peterman, Amber. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2017
    Abstract | Full Text
    The past decade has seen increased attention to measuring women’s empowerment and autonomy, motivated by the goal of identifying promising programs and policies for reducing gender inequalities. One of the most common quantitative indicators of women’s empowerment is the self-reported ability to participate in household decision making over important matters. Despite the widespread use of such indicators in the literature, uncertainty exists over how to construct valid indicators of empowerment based on questions about decision making. In particular, it is unclear how indicative joint decision making is of individual decision-making power and to what extent joint decision making reflects a consistent understanding of decision-making power within households. We utilize data from women and men in Bangladesh and Ghana to investigate whether respondents who report sole decision making in a particular domain tend to experience stronger or weaker feelings of autonomous motivation—measured using a Relative Autonomy Index—than those who report joint decision making. We find systematic differences between men and women in the association between feelings of autonomous motivation and decisionmaking outcomes. In addition, results vary by the domain of decision making and by whether or not there is a shared understanding of decision-making power within households. These findings suggest that in order to accurately measure empowerment, further innovation in the specificity as well as the sensitivity of indicators is needed.
  • Effects of tractor ownership on agricultural returns-to-scale in household maize production: Evidence from Ghana
    Takeshima, Hiroyuki; Houssou, Nazaire; Diao, Xinshen. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2017
    Abstract | Full Text
    The rise in returns-to-scale (RTS) has often been an integral part of the agricultural transformation process around the world. Although tractor ownership is often associated with greater RTS in agriculture, whether tractor ownership actually causes such increase in RTS has not been formally tested in the literature. We provide evidence that partly bridges this knowledge gap, using unique survey data of tractor-owning farm households in Ghana. We find that owning tractors significantly increases RTS in maize production from the households’ largest monocropped plot. Specifically, owning tractors raises RTS for farmers because they can till greater areas, even though returns from tilling more land remain relatively unaffected. The increase in RTS holds regardless of the values of tractors owned. These sets of evidence are obtained by addressing jointly the multiple sources of endogeneity of tractor ownership, tractor values, tillage intensity, and other inputs used, through combinations of inverse-probability weighing method, generalized method of moments method, and the mediation effects model with multiple mediators. The adoptions of mechanical technologies (tractors) and their ownerships are causing, rather than simply responding to, the rise in RTS in Ghanaian maize production.

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  • Does warehouse receipt financing benefit Ghanaian smallholders?
    Miranda, Mario; Mulangu, Francis; Kemeze, Francis H.; Kolavalli, Shashidhara. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2018
    Abstract | Full Text
    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.
  • A spatial analysis of youth livelihoods and rural transformation in Ghana
    Diao, Xinshen; Silver, Jed. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2017
    Abstract | Full Text
    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).
  • Agricultural intensification, technology adoption, and institutions in Ghana
    Houssou, Nazaire; Kolavalli, Shashidhara; Silver, Jed. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2016
    Abstract | Full Text
    Agricultural intensification has only taken off to a very limited extent in Ghana. Adoption of land productivity-enhancing technology is low, even in areas with proximity to urban markets. Rather, farmers have increasingly been adopting labor-saving technologies such as herbicides and mechanization, for which vibrant private supply channels are emerging. Further efforts to strengthen the private mechanization supply chain would help meet the rising demand for tractor services. Furthermore, mechanization could also help free up agricultural labor to perform other more labor intensive tasks.
  • Meeting Ghanaian farmers' demand for a full range of mechanization services
    Houssou, Nazaire; Aboagye, Patrick Ohene; Kolavalli, Shashidhara. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2016
    Abstract | Full Text
    Rising labor costs associated with increased rural-to-urban migration have compelled Ghanaian farmers to increase the use of tractors and other agricultural machines to conduct farming operations in the country (Diao et al. 2014). The adoption of these mechanical technologies is consistent with the tendency among Ghanaian farmers to save labor, rather than embrace practices that create additional labor needs (Houssou et al. 2016). Tractor use is concentrated on plowing and other tillage operations primarily (Houssou et al. 2013), but the supply of tractor services is inadequate. Earlier research estimated that plowing services represent 90 percent of the revenues of tractor service providers (Houssou et al. 2013). Both public and private supply of plowing services may have contributed to an expan-sion of the area under cultivation in Ghana, thereby exacerbat-ing labor bottlenecks in post-tillage field operations for many farmers.

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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.. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2018
    Abstract | Full Text
    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. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2018
    Abstract | Full Text
    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. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2018
    Abstract | Full Text
    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).
  • Flood recession agriculture for food security in Northern Ghana: Literature review on extent, challenges, and opportunities
    Sidibe, Yoro; Williams, Timothy O.; Kolavalli, Shashidhara. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2016
    Abstract | Full Text
    This review describes a range of physical and socio-economic scientific methods and field activities that will be implemented in a proposed research project to develop a better understanding of the extent and patterns of flooding and the potential of flood-recession agriculture. These activities will allow the hydrological characteristics of the river to be matched to crop-livestock systems of flood recession agriculture that are well suited to the study communities and their organizational and institutional frameworks in order to support sustainable growth of such systems. This detailed study will provide recommendations on the technical, economic, institutional and policy measures needed to achieve sustainable intensification of flood recession agriculture in northern Ghana, while complementing efforts undertaken to promote other types of water management systems. Options for out-scaling of flood recession agriculture beyond the study area to other suitable areas will also be explored. The expectation is that the proposed project will improve food security by enhancing knowledge on effective flood recession practices, enhance rural incomes through expanded dry-season farming with new opportunities for rural employment, and improve adaptation to climate change by building more resilient farming communities. To achieve these expected outcomes, proactive policies that clearly identify flood recession agriculture as an alternative farming practice and provide institutional mandates to irrigation support services to promote it through training, demonstration, and outreach programs will be equally valuable.

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