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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.
  • What happens after technology adoption? Gendered aspects of small-scale irrigation technologies in Ethiopia, Ghana, and Tanzania
    Theis, Sophie; Lefore, Nicole; Meinzen-Dick, Ruth Suseela; Bryan, Elizabeth. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2017
    Abstract | Full Text
    This paper complements the gender and technology adoption literature by shifting attention to what happens after adoption of a technology. Understanding the expected benefits and costs of adoption from the perspective of women users can help explain the technology adoption rates that are observed and why technology adoption is often not sustained in the longer term. Drawing on qualitative data from Ethiopia, Ghana, and Tanzania, this paper develops a framework for examining the intrahousehold distribution of benefits from technology adoption, focusing on small-scale irrigation technologies. The framework contributes to the conceptual and empirical exploration of jointness in control over technology by men and women. It does this by identifying a series of decisions following technology adoption, and how these decisions affect how the technology is used, by whom, to whose benefit, and with what costs.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The effects of a CAADP-compliant budget on poverty and inequality in Ghana
    Younger, Stephen D.; Benin, Samuel. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2017
    Abstract | Full Text
    Ghana has accepted the CAADP commitment to dedicate 10 percent of government spending to the agricultural sector. In a 2014 paper, Benin argues that Ghana falls short of that goal, and in a 2016 paper, Younger shows that despite the current fiscal crisis, there is fiscal space to meet the commitment. Benin estimates the rates of return to increased public expenditure on agriculture, finding that they are quite high, especially if the investments are made in the noncocoa sector. This paper uses Benin’s estimates to examine the poverty and inequality consequences of increasing public expenditure on agriculture. Key conclusions are that public expenditure on agriculture is surprisingly progressive, especially if spent in the grains subsector. This progressivity, combined with the high rate of return, means that public investment in agriculture may actually be more efficient at reducing poverty than LEAP, Ghana’s targeted conditional cash transfer program.
  • Growth of modern service providers for the African agricultural sector: An insight from a public irrigation scheme in Ghana
    Takeshima, Hiroyuki; Agandin, John; Kolavalli, Shashidhara. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2017
    Abstract | Full Text
    This paper describes how modern service providers have emerged in the African agricultural sector, a subject that has been vastly understudied. The paper looks at providers of modern rice mills, power tillers, combine harvesters, and production services at a highly productive rice irrigation scheme in Ghana. These service providers earn net profits that are greater than the profits they would likely achieve from simply expanding rice production without investing in respective machines, suggesting that higher returns primarily induce the emergence of these modern providers. Surpluses and experiences from their years of rice production are likely to have provided the primary finance and knowledge required for entry. The service providers emerged by exploiting both the economies of scale and the economies of scope, keeping rice production as the primary source of income, instead of specializing only in service provisions. Key policy implications are also discussed.
  • Cities and rural transformation: A spatial analysis of rural youth livelihoods in Ghana
    Diao, Xinshen; Fang, Peixun; Magalhaes, Eduardo; Pahl, Stefan; Silver, Jed. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2017
    Abstract | Full Text
    Urbanization has had a major impact on livelihoods in Ghana and throughout Africa as a whole. However, much research on urbanization has focused on effects occurring within cities, while there is insufficient understanding of its effects on rural areas. This paper examines the impact of urbanization—through a typology of districts—on rural livelihoods in Ghana. The country’s districts are classified into seven spatial groups according to the size of the largest city in each district in southern and northern Ghana. The paper does not address rural–urban migration but instead focuses on the livelihoods of rural households. In contrast to the extensive literature focusing on the effects of urbanization on individuals, we assess its impacts on individual rural households as a whole, with a particular focus on youth-headed households. Many rural households have shifted their primary employment from agriculture to nonagriculture, especially in the more urbanized South. In contrast, change in livelihood diversification within rural households with family members’ primary employment in both agriculture and nonagriculture appears much less rapid. Rural youth-headed households are significantly more associated with the transition away from agriculture than households headed by other adults, and such trends are stronger in locations closer to larger cities, particularly in the South. Although the nonagricultural economy is becoming increasingly important for rural households, contrary to expectations, the probit model analysis in this paper shows that agricultural production does not appear to be more intensified—in terms of modern input use—in the more urbanized South, and youth do not show greater agricultural technology adoption than other adults, indicating that the constraints against modern input adoption may be binding for all farmers, including youth and farmers in more urbanized locations. We also find that rural poverty rates are consistently lower among nonagricultural households, and the share of middle-class population is also disproportionally higher among rural nonagricultural households than agricultural households. While the probit analysis confirms the positive relationship between being a nonagricultural household and being nonpoor or becoming middle class after controlling for all other factors, education seems to play the biggest role. As rural youth become more educated and more households shift from agriculture to the rural nonfarm economy, a different range of technologies for agricultural intensification is necessary for agriculture to be attractive for youth. A territorial approach and related policies that integrate secondary cities and small towns with the rural economy deserve more attention such that the diversification of rural livelihoods can become a viable alternative or complement to rural–urban migration for youth.
  • A chicken and maize situation: The poultry feed sector in Ghana
    Andam, Kwaw S.; Johnson, Michael E.; Ragasa, Catherine; Kufoalor, Doreen S.; das Gupta, Sunipa. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2017
    Abstract | Full Text
    This study focuses on the feed milling industry, which serves as the link between maize and poultry, through a field assessment of feed millers in Ghana. The findings establish the importance of feed in the poultry value chain. In addition, they show how the sector has become more integrated with poultry production, especially on larger-scale poultry farms. Because maize accounts for 60 percent of poultry feed, its availability and price have important implications for the profitability and growth potential of feed and, therefore, for poultry production as well. We illustrate these linkages by means of a simple spatial market equilibrium model that ties together the three sectors of the poultry value chain: the primary inputs (maize and soybeans), intermediate inputs (feed), and final products (meat and eggs). This model also enables us to assess the future growth potential of the poultry industry given alternative policy-driven changes in productivity and the production capacities of all three sectors. The results show that for poultry meat, replacing imports with domestic production in the short term would be nearly impossible. For the egg industry, however, there is potential for Ghana to export to neighboring countries by reducing production costs through improvements in yellow maize production.
  • Strengthening and harmonizing food policy systems to achieve food security
    Babu, Suresh Chandra; Blom, Sylvia. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2017
    Abstract | Full Text
    Understanding how various entities in a policy system at the national level can contribute to improved use of evidence in policy making. Yet little research has focused in developing countries on how various actors and players in a policy system work together to achieve a set of policy goals. In this paper, we study the factors contributing to the effectiveness of a policy system. The process of policy design, adoption, implementation, and refinement requires an effective policy system as well as a capacitated and supportive institutional structure. External actors both through technical and financial assistance often support policy systems in developing countries. Poor coordination and harmonization of such assistance among various actors and players within the country can often result in undermining the very policy systems they try to strengthen. This is typical in the African agricultural development process. In this paper, we develop a conceptual framework for understanding the policy and institutional architecture of food and agriculture policy system and for improving the coordination and harmonization of the roles of policy actors and players. Applying the framework to Ghana, we map and analyze the organizational contributions of various actors and their functional characteristics. We show how such analysis can aid various policy actors in setting priorities and strategies for increasing their capacity and the effectiveness of their roles. Finally, we draw lessons for strengthening the food policy systems in developing countries through effective coordination among local and external actors.
  • Can better targeting improve the effectiveness of Ghana's Fertilizer Subsidy Program?
    Houssou, Nazaire; Andam, Kwaw S.; Collins, Asante-Addo. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2017
    Abstract | Full Text
    Despite improvements to the implementation regime of Ghana’s fertilizer subsidy program, this paper shows that considerable challenges remain in ensuring that the subsidy is targeted to farmers who need fertilizer the most. Currently, larger-scale and wealthier farmers are the main beneficiaries of subsidized fertilizer even though the stated goal is to target smallholder farmers with fertilizer subsidies. The experience of other African countries suggests that the effectiveness of fertilizer subsidies can improve with effective targeting of resource-poor smallholders. However, targeting smallholder farmers entails significant transaction costs and may even be infeasible in some cases. Faced with such challenges, Ghanaian policy makers must ponder the question of how to improve the targeting of input subsidy programs in the country. Further research is needed to identify more cost-effective approaches for achieving the goal of targeting.
  • The European Union–West Africa Economic Partnership Agreement
    Bouët, Antoine; Laborde Debucquet, David; Traoré, Fousseini. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2017
    Abstract | Full Text
    Despite recent modifications, the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the European Union (EU) and West African (WA) countries is still being criticized for its potential detrimental effects on WA countries. This paper provides updated evidence on the impact of the EPA on these countries. A dynamic multicountry, multisector computable general equilibrium trade model with modeling of the dual-dual economy and with a consistent tariff aggregator is used to simulate a series of new scenarios that include updated information on the agreement. We also go beyond estimating macrolevel economic effects to analyze the impacts on poverty. The policy simulation results show that the implementation of the EPA between the EU and WA countries would have marginal but positive impacts on Burkina Faso and Côte d’Ivoire and negative impacts on Benin, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, and Togo. The impact on poverty indicators in Ghana and Nigeria would be marginal. From the perspective of WA countries, this study supports the view that recent EU concessions are not sufficient and that domestic fiscal reforms are needed in WA countries themselves.
  • Are Ghana’s Public-Sector employees overpaid? Understanding the public/private wage gap and its effect on the government deficit
    Younger, Stephen D.; Osei-Assibey, Eric. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2017
    Abstract | Full Text
    Ghana is again experiencing large and chronic fiscal deficits that many analysts attribute to a sharp increase in its the public-sector wage bill. This study uses macroeconomic and household survey data to examine public employment and public wages both historically and in comparison with private-sector wages. Although we do find a public-sector wage premium in the most recent data (for 2012/2013), it is not as large as one would expect from the macro data, totaling only 15 to 28 percent of the public-sector wage bill, or 2 to 3 percent of gross domestic product. That is far from enough to eliminate the government deficit. To make further reductions in the wage bill, policymakers must either make the normative case that public-sector workers should be paid less than private-sector workers with similar qualifications, something that will be difficult politically, or they must adjust the required skill levels of public-sector employees downward, something that may not make administrative sense. There is some low-hanging fruit in the public-sector wage bill, but not enough to resolve Ghana’s fiscal crisis.
  • Exploring the agriculture-nutrition linkage in northern Ghana
    Signorelli, Sara; Haile, Beliyou; Kotu, Bekele. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2017
    Abstract | Full Text
    This study contributes to the literature by examining the agriculture‒nutrition linkage using data from northern Ghana. Specifically, we assess the relative importance of productivity and production diversity in improving household dietary diversity, while at the same time assessing the role of market access. We find that both on-farm production diversity and productivity positively affect household dietary diversity. In addition, the effect of production diversity gets stronger the longer the travel time to the nearest daily market.
  • Improving the targeting of fertilizer subsidy programs in Africa south of the Sahara: Perspectives from the Ghanaian experience
    Houssou, Nazaire; Asante-Addo, Collins; Andam, Kwaw S.. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2017
    Abstract | Full Text
    This paper assesses whether fertilizer subsidy programs can be better targeted to resource-poor farmers using the case of Ghana and proxy means test approaches. Past fertilizer subsidy programs in the country have not been particularly targeted to the poor, even as targeting poor and smallholder farmers has become key in the program implementation guidelines. As a result, many poor farmers have not benefited from past programs. Our results show that targeting approaches based on proxy means tests that use the correlates of poverty to select beneficiary farmers can potentially improve the poverty outreach and costeffectiveness of Ghana’s fertilizer subsidy programs. Therefore, we propose that the proxy means test approach should be considered for implementing Ghana’s fertilizer subsidy programs, first in a pilot project involving a few communities, and later, if found successful, in a full-scale program.
  • Changing gender roles in agriculture?: Evidence from 20 years of data in Ghana
    Lambrecht, Isabel; Schuster, Monica; Asare, Sarah; Pelleriaux, Laura. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2017
    Abstract | Full Text
    At a time when donors and governments are increasing efforts to mainstream gender in agriculture, it is critical to revisit long-standing wisdom about gender inequalities in agriculture to be able to more efficiently design and evaluate policy interventions. Many stylized facts about women in agriculture have been repeated for decades. Did nothing really change? Is some of this conventional wisdom simply maintained over time, or has it always been inaccurate? We use longitudinal data from Ghana to assess some of the facts and to evaluate whether gender patterns have changed over time. We focus on five main themes: land, cropping patterns, market participation, agricultural inputs, and employment. We add to the literature by showing new facts and evidence from more than 20 years. Results are varied and highlight the difficulty of making general statements about gender in agriculture.
  • Limitations of contract farming as a pro-poor strategy: The case of maize outgrower schemes in upper West Ghana
    Ragasa, Catherine; Lambrecht, Isabel; Kufoalor, Doreen S.. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2017
    Abstract | Full Text
    The focus in this paper is on two relatively large maize-based contract farming (CF) schemes with fixed input packages (Masara and Akate) and a number of smaller and more flexible CF schemes in a remote region in Ghana (Upper West). Results show that these schemes led to improved technology adoption and yield increases. In addition, a subset of maize farmers with high yield improvements due to CF participation had high gross margins. However, on average, yields were not high enough to compensate for higher input requirements and cost of capital. On average, households harvest 29–30 bags (100 kg each), or 2.9–3.0 metric tons, of maize per hectare, and the required repayment for fertilizer, seed, herbicide, and materials provided under the average CF scheme is 21–25 bags (50 kg each) per acre, or 2.6–3.0 tons per hectare, which leaves almost none for home consumption or for sale. Despite higher yields, the costs to produce 1 ton of maize under CF schemes remain high on average—higher than on maize farms without CF schemes, more than twice that of several countries in Africa, and more than seven times higher than that of major maize-exporting countries (the United States, Brazil, and Argentina). Sustainability of these CF schemes will depend on, from the firms’ perspective, minimizing the costs to run and monitor them, and from the farmers’ perspective, developing and promoting much-improved varieties and technologies that may lead to a jump in yields and gross margins to compensate for the high cost of credit.
  • Chinese investment in Ghana’s manufacturing sector
    Tang, Xiaoyang. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2017
    Abstract | Full Text
    This paper uses Ghana as a case study to illustrate the extent to which Chinese manufacturing firms are driving manufacturing in an African country. Through a combination of desktop and field research, the author finds that the total number of Chinese manufacturing investments in Ghana indeed increased during past decade, but quite a few projects have been abandoned or not implemented because of the unfavorable investment environment. Small and large manufacturing projects can be found in different sectors, such as plastics, steel, pharmaceuticals, and others. All of the manufacturing investments target local or regional markets, either taking advantage of local raw materials or seeing opportunities in a market with little competition. Transitioning from trading to manufacturing investment and clustering are identified as the main patterns by which Chinese investors establish themselves in Ghana. Chinese firms source simple raw materials from local suppliers but import industrial supplies from abroad. Learning from Chinese business models, a few local businessmen have started their own manufacturing projects, mostly in the plastics recycling sector, but a lack of capital appears to keep some local players from moving up the value chain. Ghana’s weak economy itself is limiting technology transfer and local linkages between Chinese firms and Ghanaians.
  • Eggs before chickens? Assessing Africa’s livestock revolution with an example from Ghana
    Andam, Kwaw S.; Arndt, Channing; Hartley, Faaiqa. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2017
    Abstract | Full Text
    This paper analyzes the impacts of adopting restrictive import policies for chicken meat in Ghana, which would be like the policies adopted in Nigeria. A prohibitive tariff stimulates domestic chicken meat production but also imposes significant costs on consumers and encourages illicit trade. However, a substantial poultry industry, producing mostly eggs, will exist independent of the border policy applied to chicken meat, due to the natural protection offered to local producers in the egg subsector. A subsector analysis of an egg production cluster in Ghana highlights the importance of trade links with other West African countries in developing the egg subsector. A focus on feed efficiency, through a mix of domestic production and imports, would benefit the layer industry, provide reasonable indications of prospects for globally competitive chicken meat production, and benefit other industries dependent on competitive feed, notably aquaculture.
  • Food and nutrition security in transforming Ghana: A descriptive analysis of national trends and regional patterns
    Ecker, Olivier; Van Asselt, Joanna. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2017
    Abstract | Full Text
    In recent decades, Ghana has experienced high economic growth and transformation, which contributed to the nation achieving the Millennium Development Goal targets on reducing extreme poverty and hunger. Against this background and in view of achieving the food and nutrition security targets of the Sustainable Development Goals, Ghana started a process of reviewing its food security and nutrition strategies and policies, including the overarching Zero Hunger Strategy. This discussion paper aims to contribute to this process by providing an update on the state of Ghana’s food and nutrition security. In addition to providing an overview of long-term historical trends at the national level, this analysis provides an overview of regional patterns of food and nutrition insecurity and recent changes across Ghana’s 10 administrative regions. Finally, the analysis identifies regional “hot spots” of food and nutrition insecurity. This paper confirms that Ghana has achieved substantial improvements in food and nutrition security overall, especially over the past decade. Nationwide, progress has been made in improving households’ economic access to food by reducing poverty and extreme poverty and in reducing chronic and acute child undernutrition. However, progress in reducing micronutrient malnutrition—particularly anemia and especially among young children—has been more modest. Across Ghana, large rural-urban gaps and regional differences—mainly between the north and the south—remain for most dimensions of food and nutrition security. In addition, Ghana is increasingly facing new nutrition-related public health problems that result from overnutrition and diets too rich in calories. Overweight and obesity among adults are rising rapidly in both urban and rural areas, leading to an increase in the risk of noncommunicable diseases. The rising double burden of malnutrition—that is, the coexistence of overnutrition and undernutrition, including micronutrient deficiencies—constitutes a challenge to public health and social protection policy. These new nutritional realities may make some existing food and nutrition security policies obsolete or even detrimental to nutrition security.
  • Strong democracy, weak state: The political economy of Ghana’s stalled structural transformation
    Resnick, Danielle. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2016
    Abstract | Full Text
    What are the political and institutional prerequisites for pursuing policies that contribute to structural transformation? This paper addresses this question by focusing on Ghana, which has achieved sustained economic growth in recent decades and is broadly lauded for its environment of political pluralism, respect for human rights, free and fair elections, and vocal civil society. Yet, despite these virtues, Ghana remains unable to achieve substantial structural transformation as identified as changes in economic productivity driven by value-added within sectors and shifts in the allocation of labor between sectors. This paper argues that Ghana is strongly democratic but plagued by weak state capacity, and these politico-institutional characteristics have shaped the economic policies pursued, including in the agricultural sector, and the resultant development trajectory. Specifically, three political economy factors have undermined Ghana’s ability to achieve substantive structural transformation since then. First, democracy has enabled a broader range of interest groups to permeate policymaking decisions, often resulting in policy backtracking and volatility as well as fiscal deficits around elections that, among other things, stifle credit access for domestic business through high interest rates. Secondly, public sector reforms were not pursued with the same vigor as macroeconomic reforms, meaning that the state has lacked the capacity typically necessary to identify winning industries or to actively facilitate the transition to higher value-added sectors. Thirdly, successive governments, regardless of party, have failed to actively invest in building strong, productive relationships with the private sector, which is a historical legacy of the strong distrust and alienation of the private sector that characterized previous government administrations.

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