Using natural areas and empowering women to buffer food security and nutrition from climate shocks: Evidence from Ghana, Zambia, and Bangladesh

Cooper, Matthew 2018
As climate change makes precipitation shocks more common, policymakers are becoming increasingly interested in protecting food systems and nutrition outcomes from the damaging effects of droughts and floods (Wheeler and von Braun, 2013). Increasing the resilience of nutrition and food security outcomes is especially critical throughout agrarian parts of the developing world, where human subsistence and well-being are directly affected by local rainfall. In this study, we use data from Feed the Future datasets from Ghana, Zambia, and Bangladesh to examine the impact of precipitation extremes on food security as well as the role of natural land cover and women’s empowerment in creating resilience. We first model the effects of extreme rainfall on indicators of nutrition and food security, and then examine whether women’s empowerment and environmental land cover types can dampen the effects of rainfall shocks on these food security and nutrition outcomes. Our results find that there is a strong association between extreme precipitation and household hunger. Further, they suggest that in certain contexts land cover types providing ecosystem services can reduce household hunger scores, that empowering women can mitigate the effects of precipitation shocks, and that there may be an interactive effect between ecosystem service availability and women’s empowerment.

     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.

     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.

     Cities and rural transformation: A spatial analysis of rural youth livelihoods in Ghana

Diao, Xinshen; Fang, Peixun; Magalhaes, Eduardo; Pahl, Stefan; Silver, Jed 2017
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.

     Effects of tractor ownership on agricultural returns-to-scale in household maize production: Evidence from Ghana

Takeshima, Hiroyuki; Houssou, Nazaire; Diao, Xinshen 2017
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.

     Exploring the agriculture-nutrition linkage in northern Ghana

Signorelli, Sara; Haile, Beliyou; Kotu, Bekele 2017
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.

     The effects of a CAADP-compliant budget on poverty and inequality in Ghana

Younger, Stephen D.; Benin, Samuel 2017
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 2017
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.

     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 2017
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.

     The European Union–West Africa Economic Partnership Agreement

Bouët, Antoine; Laborde Debucquet, David; Traoré, Fousseini 2017
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.

     Can better targeting improve the effectiveness of Ghana's Fertilizer Subsidy Program?

Houssou, Nazaire; Andam, Kwaw S.; Collins, Asante-Addo 2017
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.

     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 2017
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.

     Eggs before chickens? Assessing Africa’s livestock revolution with an example from Ghana

Andam, Kwaw S.; Arndt, Channing; Hartley, Faaiqa 2017
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.

     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. 2017
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.

     Understanding the measurement of women’s autonomy: Illustrations from Bangladesh and Ghana

Seymour, Gregory; Peterman, Amber 2017
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.

     Changing gender roles in agriculture?: Evidence from 20 years of data in Ghana

Lambrecht, Isabel; Schuster, Monica; Asare, Sarah; Pelleriaux, Laura 2017
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.

     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. 2017
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.

     Strengthening and harmonizing food policy systems to achieve food security

Babu, Suresh Chandra; Blom, Sylvia 2017
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.

     A chicken and maize situation: The poultry feed sector in Ghana

Andam, Kwaw S.; Johnson, Michael E.; Ragasa, Catherine; Kufoalor, Doreen S.; Gupta, Sunipa Das 2017
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.

     Chinese investment in Ghana’s manufacturing sector

Tang, Xiaoyang 2017
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.

     Food and nutrition security in transforming Ghana: A descriptive analysis of national trends and regional patterns

Ecker, Olivier; Van Asselt, Joanna 2017
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 2016
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.

     Farm transition and indigenous growth: The rise to medium- and large-scale farming in Ghana

Houssou, Nazaire; Chapoto, Anthony; Asante-Addo, Collins 2016
This paper characterizes the transition from small-scale farming and the drivers of farm size growth among medium- and large-scale farmers in Ghana. The research was designed to better understand the dynamics of change in Ghana’s farm structure and contribute to the debate on whether Africa should pursue a smallholder-based or large-scale oriented agricultural development strategy. The results suggest a rising number of medium-scale farmers and a declining number of smallholder farmers in the country, a pattern that is consistent with a changing farm structure in the country’s agricultural sector. More important, findings show that the rise to medium- and large-scale farming is significantly associated with successful transition of small-scale farmers rather than entry of medium or large farms into agriculture, reflecting small-scale farmers successfully breaking through the barriers of subsistence agriculture into more commercialized production systems. The findings in this paper also suggest that some of the factors thought to be important for change in farm structure are no obstacle to farm size growth, even though they may foster transition. Notably, the results here diverge from the patterns observed in Zambia and Kenya, which indicate that the emergent farmers came mostly from the urban elite. Unfortunately, past and current policy discussions have not featured these emergent farmers sufficiently in the quest to transform agriculture in Ghana. Government should capitalize on these emergent farmers who have a demonstrated ability to graduate productively as it strives to address challenges in the smallholder sector.

     Perceived land tenure security and rural transformation: Empirical evidence from Ghana

Ghebru, Hosaena; Khan, Huma; Lambrecht, Isabel 2016
Tenure security is believed to be critical in spurring agricultural investment and productivity. Yet what improves or impedes tenure security is still poorly understood. Using household- and plot-level data from Ghana, this study analyzes the main factors associated with farmers’ perceived tenure security. Individually, farmers perceive greater tenure security on plots acquired via purchase or inheritance than on land allocated by traditional authorities. Collectively, however, perceived tenure security lessens in communities with more active land markets and economic vibrancy. Migrant households and women in polygamous households feel less secure about their tenure, while farmers with political connections are more confident about their tenure security.

     “As a husband I will love, lead, and provide:” Gendered access to land in Ghana

Lambrecht, Isabel 2016
Improving women’s access to land is high on the agricultural policy agenda of both governmental and non-governmental agencies. Yet, the determinants and rationale of gendered access to land are not well understood. This paper argues that gender relations are more than the outcomes of negotiations within households. It explains the importance of social norms, perceptions, and formal and informal rules shaping access to land for male and female farmers at four levels: (1) the household/family, (2) the community, (3) the state, and (4) the market. The framework is applied to Ghana. Norms on household and family organization and on men’s and women’s responsibilities and capabilities play a key role in gendered allocation of resources. However, these norms and perceptions are dynamic and evolve jointly with the development of markets and changes in values of inputs such as labor and land. Theoretical models that represent the gendered distribution of assets as the result of intrahousehold bargaining should be revised, and extrahousehold factors should be included. From a policy perspective, laws that ensure gender equality in terms of inheritance and a more gender-equitable distribution of property upon divorce can play a key role in improving women’s property rights. Yet, their impact may be limited where customary rights dominate and social norms and rules continue to discriminate according to gender.

     Ghana’s macroeconomic crisis: Causes, consequences, and policy responses

Younger, Stephen D. 2016
Ghana is in the midst of a severe but not unprecedented macroeconomic crisis. This paper helps to evaluate the government’s policy options by (1) explaining the crisis’ causes, and (2) comparing it to previous macroeconomic crises and the policies that corrected them. Two large shocks are to blame for the crisis: an increase in the fiscal deficit of about 6 percent of GDP and a reduction in hydroelectric production that has not been replaced with thermal generation. This latter is more difficult to quantify, but may be as large as 4 percent of GDP. While large, Ghana has recovered from similar shocks in the past, and with luck, should be able to do so now. But this will require reversal of the large increases in the public sector wage bill that drove much of the fiscal shock.

     Agricultural inputs policy under macroeconomic uncertainty: Applying the kaleidoscope model to Ghana’s Fertilizer Subsidy Programme (2008–2015)

Resnick, Danielle; Mather, David 2016
Ghana’s Fertilizer Subsidy Programme (GFSP) was initiated in 2008 in response to the global food and fuel price crisis. Although initially intended to be a temporary measure that became increasingly expensive as Ghana’s macroeconomy deteriorated, farmers, civil society organizations, and politicians began to expect the subsidy on an annual basis. This paper applies the kaleidoscope model for agricultur and food security policy change to the case of GFSP. In doing so, it uses a variety of analytical tools to highlight how many of the weak outcomes of GFSP can be attributed to the nature of the broader policy process that has surrounded GFSP as well as the underlying political and institutional context in which policy making occurs in Ghana. Based on semi-structured interviews conducted with knowledgeable stakeholders spanning the government, donor, civil society, and research communities, the paper identifies the bottlenecks that need to be addressed if the program is to be more effective in the future.

     Limits to green revolution in rice in Africa: The case of Ghana

Ragasa, Catherine; Chapoto, Anthony 2016
This paper examines closely the constraints in productivity improvements and evaluates available rice technologies looking at the heterogeneity of irrigated and rainfed ecologies in 10 regions in Ghana. Employing yield response models, profitability analysis, and adoption models, results show various practices contribute to yield improvements in irrigated and rainfed systems including chemical fertilizer use, use of certified seed of improved varieties, transplanting, bunding, leveling, use of a sawah system, seed priming, and row planting. Evidence also shows that extension services on rice production are limited and that intensifying extension services can contribute to increases in rice yield.

     Boserupian pressure and agricultural mechanization in modern Ghana

Cossar, Frances 2016
The adoption of machinery in agricultural production in Africa south of the Sahara has been far behind the level of mechanization found in Asia and Latin America. However, recent survey data have revealed high levels of machinery use in localized areas of cereal production in northern Ghana. A survey conducted by the International Food Policy Research Institute, in partnership with the Savannah Agriculture Research Institute, found that in some areas more than 80 percent of farmers were using machinery for at least one operation. This paper considers the theoretical drivers of agricultural intensification, as outlined by Boserup, Pingali, and Binswanger, and the extent to which they are able to explain the spatial variation in machinery use found in northern Ghana. Population pressure, market access, and agroecological conditions are considered key drivers that cause farmers to find ways to increase productivity and adopt new technologies. Combining survey data with geospatial datasets, the empirical analysis finds that population growth and travel time to the local urban center explain a significant and large proportion of the variation in machinery use by farmers.

     Do development projects crowd out private-sector activities? A survival analysis of contract farming participation in northern Ghana

Lambrecht, Isabel; Ragasa, Catherine 2016
Contract farming (CF) is attractive as a possible private-sector-led strategy for improving smallholder farmers’ welfare. Yet many CF schemes suffer from high turnover of participating farmers and struggle to survive. So far, the dynamics of CF participation have remained largely unexplored. We employ duration analysis to examine factors affecting entry into and exit from different maize CF schemes in northern Ghana, focusing specifically on the impact of development projects on CF entry and exit. We find that agricultural development projects reduce the likelihood of scheme entry and increase the likelihood of exit. Our findings confirm concerns that, if interventions are not planned in accordance with relevant private-sector actors, private-sector initiatives can be hindered by competing development projects.

     Returns to agricultural public spending in Ghana: Cocoa versus noncocoa subsector

Benin, Samuel 2016
Using public expenditure and agricultural production data on Ghana from 1970 to 2012, this paper assesses the returns to public spending in the agricultural sector, taking into consideration expenditures on agriculture as a whole and then separately for expenditures in the cocoa versus the noncocoa subsectors. Production functions for the agricultural sector as a whole are estimated first, and then separately for the two subsectors, to obtain elasticities of land productivity with respect to total and sectorial agricultural expenditure. Different regression methods and related diagnostic tests are used to address potential endogeneity of agricultural expenditure, cross-subsector dependence of the production function error terms, and within-subsector serial correlation of the error terms. The estimated elasticities are then used to calculate the rate of return (ROR) to expenditures in the sector as a whole and within the two subsectors. The elasticities are estimated at 0.43 for total agricultural expenditure; 0.13 for aggregate expenditure in the noncocoa subsector; and 0.19–0.53 for expenditure in the cocoa sector, depending on aggregation or disaggregation of expenditure on the Ghana Cocoa Board and other industry costs. The ROR is estimated at 141–190 percent for total agricultural expenditure, 124 percent for expenditure in the noncocoa subsector, and 11–39 percent for expenditure in the cocoa subsector. The relatively higher ROR in the noncocoa subsector is mostly due to a much lower expenditure-to-productivity ratio. Implications are discussed for raising overall productivity of expenditure in the sector, as well as for further studies, such as obtaining actual time-series data on some of the production factors in the two subsectors and obtaining information on the quality of sectorial expenditures to model different time-lag effects of spending in the different subsectors.

     Changes in Ghanaian farming systems: Stagnation or a quiet transformation?

Houssou, Nazaire; Johnson, Michael E.; Kolavalli, Shashidhara; Asante-Addo, Collins 2016
This research was designed to understand better the patterns of agricultural intensification and transformation occurring in Africa South of the Sahara using the Ghanaian case. The paper examines changes in farming systems and the role of various endogenous and exogenous factors in driving the conversion of arable lands to agricultural uses in four villages within two agroecologically distinct zones of Ghana: the Guinea Savannah and Transition zones. Using essentially historical narratives and land-cover maps supplemented with quantitative data at regional levels, the research shows that farming has intensified in the villages, while farmers have increased their farm size in response to factors such as population growth, market access, and changing rural lifestyle. The overall trend suggests a gradual move toward intensification through increasing use of labor-saving technologies rather than land-saving inputs—a pattern that contrasts with Asia’s path to its Green Revolution. The findings in this paper provide evidence of the dynamism occurring in African farming systems; hence, they point toward a departure from stagnation narratives that have come to prevail in the debate on agricultural transformation and intensification in Africa South of the Sahara. We conclude that it is essential for future research to expand the scope of this work, while policies should focus on lessons that can be learned from these historical processes of genuine change.

     Smallholders and land tenure in Ghana: Aligning context, empirics, and policy

Lambrecht, Isabel; Asare, Sarah 2015
For decades, policymakers and development practitioners have debated benefits and threats of property rights formalization and private versus customary tenure systems. This paper provides insights into the challenges in understanding and empirically analyzing the relationship between tenure systems and agricultural investment, and formulates policy advice that can support land tenure interventions. We focus on Ghana, based on extensive qualitative fieldwork and a review of empirical research and policy documents. Comparing research findings is challenging due to the use of different indicators, the varying contexts, and the diversity of investments. The interaction between land rights and investment make establishing causality extremely difficult. Setting policy priorities and strategies requires more and better insights into the diverse responses of different stakeholders and the tenure and cropping systems involved.

     The effect of insurance enrollment on maternal and child health care utilization

Gajate-Garrido, Gissele; Ahiadeke, Clement 2015
Access to and use of health services are concerns in poor countries. If implemented correctly, health insurance may help solve these concerns. Due to selection and omitted variable bias, however, it is difficult to determine whether joining an insurance scheme improves medical care–seeking behaviors. This paper uses representative data for the whole country of Ghana and an instrumental variable approach to estimate the causal impact on healthcare use of participating in Ghana’s National Health Insurance Scheme. Idiosyncratic variations in membership rules at the district level provide exogenous variation in enrollment. The instrument is the existence of nonstandard verification methods to allow enrollment of children. Using the 2008 Ghana Demographic and Health Survey and a census of all district insurance offices, this paper finds that insurance membership increases the probability of (1) seeking higher-quality (but no greater quantity of) maternal services and (2) parents’ becoming more active users of child curative care. Instrumental variable estimates are larger than ordinary least squares ones, indicating that “compliers” have much higher returns to being insured than the average participant. Results are robust to several validity checks; this paper shows that the instrument is indeed idiosyncratic and proves that government officials did not establish less-cumbersome membership rules in districts with worse initial indicators.

     Agricultural value chain development in practice: Private sector-led smallholder development

Kolavalli, Shashidhara; Mensah-Bonsu, Akwasi; Zaman, Saima 2015
Value chain development is adopted widely as a private sector–led approach to agricultural development that can benefit smallholders. The objective of this research is to understand how development organizations are conceptualizing and developing agricultural value chains in Ghana to include smallholders. The study is based on case studies of five programs supported by various donors. A typology is employed to categorize the intervention. Common to all the programs are interventions to encourage the development of interlinked vertical contracts between smallholders and buyers and investments to improve the operations of actors downstream. The study explores issues related to expectations, scaling up of activities to reach a significant portion of the population, technology transfer, and participatory development of value chain strategies and identifies some indicators to examine the outcomes of value chain interventions.

     How does women’s time in reproductive work and agriculture affect maternal and child nutrition? Evidence from Bangladesh, Cambodia, Ghana, Mozambique, and Nepal

Komatsu, Hitomi; Malapit, Hazel Jean L.; Theis, Sophie 2015
There are concerns that increasing women’s engagement in agriculture could have a negative effect on nutrition because it limits the time available for nutrition-improving reproductive work. However, very few empirical studies have been able to analyze whether these concerns are well-founded. This paper examines whether an increase in women’s time in agriculture adversely affects maternal and child nutrition, and whether the lack of women’s time in reproductive work leads to poorer nutrition. Using data from Bangladesh, Cambodia, Ghana, Mozambique, and Nepal, we find that on the whole, in poor households, reductions in women’s reproductive work time are detrimental to nutrition, especially for children. In contrast, women’s and children’s nutrition in nonpoor households is less sensitive to reductions in time on reproductive work. Working long hours in agriculture reduces women’s dietary diversity score in Ghana and nonpoor women’s in Mozambique. However, for poor women and children in Mozambique, and children in Nepal, working in agriculture in fact increases dietary diversity. This suggests that agriculture as a source of food and income is particularly important for the poor. Our results illustrate that women’s time allocation and nutrition responses to agricultural interventions are likely to vary according to socioeconomic status and local context.

     The biophysical potential for urea deep placement technology in lowland rice production systems of Ghana and Senegal

Cox, Cindy M.; Kwon, Ho Young; Koo, Jawoo 2015
The application of nitrogen (N) fertilizers is still insufficient across cropping systems in Africa south of the Sahara, while plant uptake of nitrogen is often inefficient and wasteful even when farmers apply fertilizers. This leaves sizable room for improving the productivity of crops and managing nutrient cycles. Fertilizer deep placement is a technology designed to enhance the efficiency of nutrient delivery to crops by placing granulated fertilizer directly in the root zone. Deep placement maximizes nutrient uptake by crops while using less fertilizer than surface broadcasting, and minimizes N losses due to runoff and ammonia volatilization. Urea deep placement (UDP) technology has been widely adopted in lowland paddy rice production systems in South Asia, especially in Bangladesh. There is a growing interest to scale up UDP adoption in West African countries, such as Ghana and Senegal, but a limited number of studies have been published from the region to support developing strategies. To contribute to the evidence-base, we use a grid-based cropping systems modeling framework, combined with analyses on the characterization of UDP and its geospatial targeting, and map the extent of biophysical suitability for UDP across regions in Ghana and Senegal and estimate potential yield increases under this technology.

     Economics of tractor ownership under rainfed agriculture with applications in Ghana

Houssou, Nazaire; Diao, Xinshen; Kolavalli, Shashidhara 2014
This paper assesses whether tractor investment is a rational and profitable decision for farmers using firm investment theory and tractor owner survey data collected in 2013. Under erratic rainfalls, timeliness of farming operations is critical for farmers. Based on the hypothesis that owning a tractor and hiring tractor services are not necessarily perfect substitutes for farmers with relatively large farm sizes, this paper assesses whether mechanization services can be profitable for the private sector in Ghana. It particularly addresses whether farmer-to-farmer service provision is a viable alternative to current programs, which should be promoted by policymakers for scaling up agricultural mechanization in the country.

     Aid effectiveness: How is the L’Aquila food security initiative doing?

Benin, Samuel 2014
This paper uses case studies of Bangladesh, Ghana, Rwanda, and Senegal to assess the degree to which the L’Aquila Food Security Initiative (AFSI) has been implemented within the framework of managing for development results (MfDR) and to evaluate progress in various outcomes, including economic governance, agricultural growth, poverty, and food and nutrition security (FNS).

     Impact of Ghana’s agricultural mechanization services center program

Benin, Samuel 2014
Use of mechanization in African agriculture has returned strongly to the development agenda, particularly following the recent high food prices crisis. Many developing country governments—including Ghana, the case study of this paper—have resumed support for agricultural mechanization, typically in the form of providing subsidies for tractor purchase and establishment of private-sector-run agricultural mechanization service centers (AMSECs). The aim of this paper is to assess the impact of Ghana’s AMSEC program on various outcomes, using data from household surveys that were conducted with 270 farmers, some of them located in areas with the AMSEC program (treatment) and others located in areas without the program (control).

     The changing landscape of agriculture in Ghana: Drivers of farm mechanization and its impacts on cropland expansion and intensification

Houssou, Nazaire; Chapoto, Antony 2014
This study assesses whether the recent public and private efforts to improve farmers’ access to mechanical power in Ghana have had the intended effects on the country’s agricultural sector. Using panel survey data, this paper analyses the drivers of farm mechanization and its net impacts on cropland expansion and farming system intensification in northern Ghana. Several factors explain the use and use intensity of agricultural mechanization, including landholding size, total labor and fertilizer use per hectare, chemical use, and amount of land left fallow. More importantly, the results suggest that farm mechanization did have a positive impact on cropland expansion during the survey period. The results presented here support the existence of a labor substitution effect resulting from tractor use.

     Strategies to control aflatoxin in groundnut value chains

Florkowski, Wojciech J.; Kolavalli, Shashidhara 2014
Groundnuts, which are widely consumed in West Africa, are prone to contamination by aflatoxin during production and storage. Although aflatoxin plays a role in many of the important health risks in developing countries, individuals and governments ignore the risks because their health effects are not immediate. In the developed world strong regulations remove contaminated kernels and their products from the food systems. The objective of this paper is to examine production and marketing practices, particularly grading methods, in Ghana’s groundnut value chain to obtain a clear understanding of the sources and levels of aflatoxin contamination in the crop and how such contamination can be sharply reduced.

     Improving the food policy process: Lessons from capacity strengthening of parliamentarians in Ghana

Chhokar, Jagdeep S.; Babu, Suresh Chandra; Kolavalli, Shashidhara 2014
In this paper, we document an approach to capacity strengthening of parliamentarians in Ghana and attempt to gauge to what extent and under what conditions such investments could lead to better debates and informed policymaking to promote growth and poverty reduction. We traced a group of Ghanaian parliamentarians to draw lessons after their study and exposure visit to India. Exposure visits changed participants’ knowledge, outlook, and thinking toward agricultural policies.

     Aid effectiveness in Ghana: How’s the L’Aquila food security initiative doing?

Benin, Samuel; Makombe, Tsitsi; Johnson, Michael E. 2014
This paper assesses the degree to which the L’Aquila Food Security Initiative (AFSI) has been implemented in Ghana within the framework of managing for development results (MfDR), and to evaluate progress in various outcomes, including economic governance, agricultural growth, poverty, and food and nutrition security. The MfDR approach, which has gained widespread support globally for obtaining results, is endorsed by the government of Ghana and reflected in the Ghana Aid Policy and Strategy.

     Examining the sense and science behind Ghana’s current blanket fertilizer recommendation

Chapoto, Antony; Tetteh, Francis 2014
This paper was written to help bolster the case and present visual evidence demonstrating why it is important to seriously consider spatial soil fertility variability in Ghana and to promote area-specific fertilizer recommendations. Using geostatistical analysis of soil samples collected from farmer plots in three districts (Tamale Municipality, Savelugu-Nanton, and West Mamprusi in northern Ghana), the paper analyzes spatial variations in soil fertility. The results clearly show that there are variations in soil pH, organic matter content, and available phosphorous even at the community level, supporting the need for Ghana to seriously consider location-specific fertilizer recommendations.

     Identifying agricultural expenditures within the public financial accounts and coding system in Ghana: Is the ten percent government agriculture expenditure overestimated?

Benin, Samuel 2014
This paper is part of four country case studies that take a detailed look at public expenditures in agriculture, and at how the data on expenditures are captured in government financial and budget accounts. The objective of these studies is to unpack the black box of public expenditure statistics reported in various cross-country datasets, and ultimately to enable the use of existing government accounts to identify levels and compositions of government agriculture expenditures, with better understanding of what these data are in fact accounting for.

     What dimensions of women’s empowerment in agriculture matter for nutrition-related practices and outcomes in Ghana?

Malapit, Hazel J.; Quisumbing, Agnes R. 2014
This paper investigates linkages between women’s empowerment in agriculture and the nutritional status of women and children using 2012 baseline data from the Feed the Future population-based survey in Ghana. The sample consists of 3,344 children and 3,640 women and is statistically representative of the northernmost regions of Ghana where the Feed the Future programs are operating.

     Price setting in the cocoa sector

Kolavalli, Shashidhara; Vigneri, Marcella; Maamah, Haruna; Poku, John 2013

     New developments in financial risk management tools for farmers

Hazell, Peter B. R. 2013

     Land policy and governance reforms and agricultural transformation

Ghebru, Hosaena 2013

     The role of foreign investment in Ethiopia’s leather value chain: Lessons for Ghana

McMillan, Margaret S. 2013

     The national health insurance scheme in Ghana: Implementation challenges and proposed solutions

Gajate-Garrido, Gissele; Owusua, Rebecca 2013
Healthcare financing through social health insurance has become a very important tool in providing access to and utilization of health services in most developing countries such as Ghana. Ghana’s National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) is a promising tool for policymakers. Yet since its inception in 2003, few studies have assessed the scheme. This paper aims to explore the challenges facing the District Mutual Health Insurance Schemes (DMHISs), how these challenges have been managed over the years, and what can be done to improve the DMHIS operation. The scope of this study is to improve policies and guide support for Ghanaian DMHISs as well as to provide recommendations when implementing future NHISs in a developing-country context.

     Blue Skies: How one firm overcame binding constraints

McMillan, Margaret S. 2013

     Mechanization in Ghana searching for sustainable service supply meals

Diao, Xinshen; Cossar, Frances; Houssou, Nazaire; Kolavalli, Shashidhara; Jimah, Kipo; Aboagye, Patrick Ohene 2013

     Impact of food price changes on household welfare in Ghana

Minot, Nicholas; Dewina, Reno 2013
In this paper, we explore the distributional impact of higher maize, rice, and food prices in Ghana and analyze the robustness of those results to changes in several key assumptions.

     Performance of farmer-based organizations in Ghana

Salifu, Adam; Funk, Rebecca Lee; Keefe, Meagan; Kolavalli, Shashidhara 2013

     Policy priorities to support Ghana’s commercial seed sector development

Tripp, Robert; Mensah-Bonsu, Akwesi 2013

     Green revolution in Ghana

Nin-Pratt, Alejandro; McBride, Linden 2013
With renewed interest in technical change and productivity growth in the African agricultural sector, interest is growing in the lessons of Asia’s Green Revolution and in the implementation of input promotion and subsidies to promote agricultural growth. While there are several valid reasons for seeking a model for African agricultural productivity growth from the Asian Green Revolution, the abundance of natural resources in Africa compared to Asia means that the Asian lessons might have limited application across Africa.

     Are African governments serious about agriculture?

Benin, Samuel 2013
The objective of this brief is to analyze available data on public agriculture expenditure in Africa—with a particular focus on Ghana—to assess the commitment of African governments to the agriculture sector, which they themselves have formally identified as the lead sector for achieving growth, raising incomes, reducing poverty, and increasing food and nutrition security.

     Curb your enthusiasm

Nin-Pratt, Alejandro; Johnson, Michael; Yu, Bingxin 2013
The evidence of improved performance of the agricultural sector in Sub‐Saharan Africa (SSA) in recent years has indeed been quite striking. For the first time, agricultural gross domestic product (AgGDP) per capita has maintained a real growth rate of 2.4 percent per year, while real AgGDP growth rates have exceeded 6 percent, a growth rate last seen in the 1970s. Similarly, performance of the overall economy, with average growth rates of 5.3 percent per year, has also been remarkable. In this context, Ghana has shown one of the best performing agricultural sectors in the region with AgGDP growing at more than six percent per capita in recent years.

     Economic transformation in Africa: Where will the path Lead?

Kolavalli, Shashidhara; Robinson, Elizabeth J. Z.; Diao, Xinshen; Alpuerto, Vida; Folledo, Renato; Slavova, Branimira; Ngeleza, Guyslain K.; Asante, Feliz 2013
This brief focuses on growth patterns, structural change and agglomeration to assess the progress of economic transformation in Ghana. While Ghana has been seen as a successful story in Africa because of its sustainable growth performance and impressive poverty reduction over the last two decades, Ghana’s economy has actually exhibited less transformation than might be expected for a country that has recently achieved low‐middle income status.

     Economic transformation in Africa

McMillan, Margaret S.; Rodrik, Dani 2013
One of the earliest and most central insights from the literature on economic development is that development entails structural change. The countries that manage to pull out of poverty and get richer are those that are able to diversify away from agriculture and other traditional products. As labor and other resources move from agriculture into modern economic activities, overall productivity rises and incomes expand. The speed with which this transformation takes place is one of the key factors that differentiate successful countries from unsuccessful ones.

     Dynamics of transformation insights from rice farming in Kpong Irrigation System (KIS)

Takeshima, Hiroyuki; Jimah, Kipo; Kolavalli, Shashidhara; Diao, Xinshen 2013

     Agricultural commercialization, land expansion, and homegrown land-scale farmers: Insights from Ghana

Chapoto, Antony; Mabiso, Athur; Bonsu, Adwinmea 2013
The past decade has seen several African countries increasing their agricultural growth, a trend largely underpinned by increases in land area cultivated instead of productivity increases. Meanwhile, scholars debate whether Africa should pursue a strategy of large-scale or smallholder farms, paying little attention to a special group of smallholder farmers who have transitioned to become medium- and large-scale farmers. This study, therefore, begins to analyze this group of farmers, using qualitative data from in-depth interviews and focus group discussions in Ghana. We analyze their characteristics, ingredients of farm-size expansion, and commercialization.

     Dynamics of transformation: Insights from an exploratory review of rice farming in the Kpong irrigation project

Takeshima, Hiroyuki; Jimah, Kipo; Kolavalli, Shashidhara; Diao, Xinshen; Funk, Rebecca Lee 2013
Agriculture in African South of the Sahara (SSA) can be transformed if the right public support is provided at the initial stage, and it can sustain itself once the enabling environment is put in place. Successes are also specific to the location of projects. In Ghana, interesting insights are obtained from the successful Kpong Irrigation Project (KIP), contrasted with other major irrigation projects in the country. Through an exploratory review, we describe how a productive system evolved in KIP and how public support for critical aspects (accumulation of crop husbandry knowledge, selection and supply of profitable varieties, and mechanization of land preparation) might have created a productive environment that the private sector could enter and fill in the market for credit, processing, mechanization of harvesting, and other institutional voids that typically have constrained agricultural transformation in the rest of SSA.

     Methods of capacity needs assessment: A discussion note

Babu, Suresh Chandra; Kolavalli, Shashidhara 2013

     Reflections on influencing country policies and strategies: The toy story

Kolavalli, Shashidhara; Keefe, Meagan; Birner, Regina 2013

     Moving in the right direction? Maize productivity and fertilizer use and use intensity in Ghana

Chapoto, Antony; Ragasa, Catherine 2013
Using cross-sectional data on 630 maize farmers and 645 maize plots in Ghana, this paper provides empirical evidence on the responsiveness of maize yield to fertilizer use and use intensity and the economics of fertilizer use with or without subsidy. Similar to previous studies in Ghana and Africa south of the Sahara, the results show that there is a statistically significant maize yield response (that is, 1 kilogram of nitrogen leads to a yield increase of 22 kilograms per hectare).

     Is specialization in agricultural mechanization a viable business model: the case of Ghana

Houssou, Nazaire; Diao, Xinshen; Cossar, Frances; Kolavalli, Shashidhara; Jimah, Kipo; Aboagye, Patrick Ohene 2013

     Food processing and agricultural productivity challenges: The case of tomatoes in Ghana

Robinson, Elizabeth J. Z.; Kolavalli, Shashidhara; Diao, Xinshen 2013

     Ghana’s research system

van Rheenen, Teunis; Obirth-Opareh, Nelson; Essegbey, George Owusu; Kolavalli, Shashidhara; Ferguson, Jenna; Boadu, Paul; Fuseini, Masahudu; Chiang, Catherine 2013

     Evaluation of four special initiatives of the ministry of food and agriculture

Benin, Samuel; Johnson, Michael; Jimah, Kipo; Taabazuing, Joe; Tenga, Albert; Abokyi, Emmanuel; Nasser, Gamel; Ahorbo, Gerald; Owuusu, Victor 2013

     New directions for revitalizing the national agricultural research system in the context of growing private sector R&D

Ragasa, Catherine; Byerlee, Derek 2013

     Impact of food price increase on household welfare in Ghana

Minot, Nicholas; Dewina, Reno 2013

     The comprehensive Africa agriculture development programme as a collective institution

Kolavalli, Shashidhara; Birner, Regina 2013
The Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) was designed to promote the transformation of agriculture in SSA. Under this program, African countries have committed to seek development through agriculture led growth by targeting at least 6 percent growth and by allocating about 10 percent of government budget to the sector. In return, the donor community has implicitly committed to increase their support to agriculture using the CAADP mechanism, while at the same time coordinating their activities in this sector and aligning them with the CAADP priorities set by the African countries themselves.

     Economic growth and agricultural diversification matters for food and nutrition security in Ghana

Ecker, Olivier; Trinh Tan, Jean-Francois; Alpuerto, Vida; Diao, Xinshen 2013

     Political economy determinants of public investment decision-making in agriculture

Mogues, Tewodaj 2013

     The traits of Ghanaian commercial farmers

Chapoto, Antony; Bonsu, Adwinmea 2013

     Animal traction in Ghana

Houssou, Nazaire; Kolavalli, Shashidhara 2013

     Understanding the real budget process: The case of Ghana

Johnson, Michael 2013

     Political economy and donor responses to CAADP

Atwood, David A. 2013

     Agricultural mechanization in Ghana

Houssou, Nazaire; Diao, Xinshen; Cossar, Frances; Kolavalli, Shashidhara; Jimah, Kipo; Aboagye, Patrick Ohene 2013
Even though the intention of the government is to promote private sector-led mechanization, findings suggest that the AMSEC model is unlikely to be a profitable business model attractive to private investors even with the current level of subsidy. The low tractor utilization rate as a result of low operational scale is the most important constraint to the intertemporal profitability of tractor-hire services. The government can play an important role in facilitating the development of a tractor service market; however, the successful development of such a market depends on the incentive and innovation of the private sector, including farmers who want to own tractors as part of their business portfolio, traders who know how to bring in affordable tractors and expand the market, and manufacturers in exporting countries who want to seek a long-term potential market opportunity in Ghana and in other west African countries.

     Revisiting agricultural input and farm support subsidies in Africa: The case of Ghana’s mechanization, fertilizer, block farms, and marketing programs

Benin, Samuel; Johnson, Michael E.; Abokyi, Emmanuel; Ahorbo, Gerald; Jimah, Kipo; Nasser, Gamel; Owusu, Victor; Taabazuing, Joe; Tenga, Albert 2013
Use of agricultural input and farm support subsidies in Africa has returned strongly to the development agenda, particularly following the recent high food and input prices crisis. Many of the donors who opposed them in the past and subsequently put pressure to discontinue them due to their high cost and distortionary effect on the domestic economy are now providing aid in the form of farm support and agricultural subsidies. In Ghana, for example, the country of study in this paper, the government has since 2007 introduced four major subsidy and support programs on fertilizer, mechanization, block farms, and marketing. Therefore, a key question that arises is how the structure and policies of these current programs account for any of the general lessons and controversies experienced in the past and, in the process, achieve their intended goals in a more effective and economically viable manner.

     Economic transformation in Ghana: Where will the path lead?

Kolavalli, Shashidhara; Robinson, Elizabeth J. Z.; Diao, Xinshen; Alpuerto, Vida; Folledo, Renato; Slavova, Mira; Ngeleza, Guyslain K.; Asante, Felix Ankomah 2012
In the context of the Ghanaian government’s objective of structural transformation with an emphasis on manufacturing, this paper provides a case study of economic transformation in Ghana, exploring patterns of growth, sectoral transformation, and agglomeration. We document and examine why, despite impressive growth and poverty reduction figures, Ghana’s economy has exhibited less transformation than might be expected for a country that has recently achieved middle-income status. Ghana’s reduced share of agriculture in the economy, unlike many successfully transformed countries in Asia and Latin America, has been filled by services, while manufacturing has stagnated and even declined. Likely causes include weak transformation of the agricultural sector and therefore little development of agroprocessing, the emergence of consumption cities and consumption-driven growth, upward pressure on the exchange rate, weak production linkages, and a poor environment for private-sector-led manufacturing.

     The comprehensive Africa agriculture program as a collective institution

Kolavalli, Shashidhara; Birner, Regina; Flaherty, Kathleen 2012
A number of factors favor a collective strategy for African countries to build their reputation regarding improved governance and commitment to agriculture. These include negative spillover effects of poor governance (for example, obstacles to developing regional markets), improved bargaining power of African governments vis-à-vis the donor community, long-standing political efforts to build a positive African identity, and a donor interest in reducing transaction costs by interacting with African countries though regional organizations rather than individually. While realizing these potentials, the CAADP effort to build collective rather than individual reputation involves the classical free-rider problem of collective action: Countries may not honor their commitments after having received increased aid—a strategy that will harm all member countries since it undermines the collective reputation. Since CAADP involves a collective commitment by the donor community as well, donors face similar problems of collective action. They, too, may fail to honor their commitments or revert to individual rather than harmonized approaches to support African agriculture. The paper discusses the strategies that CAADP can use to overcome these collective action challenges.

     The partially liberalized cocoa sector in Ghana: Producer price determination, quality control, and service provision

Kolavalli, Shashidhara; Vigneri, Marcella; Maamah, Haruna; Poku, John 2012
The cocoa sector in Ghana is one of few examples of an export commodity sector in an African country that has withstood the pressure to fully liberalize. Despite substantial government control over internal and external marketing via the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), the current institutional arrangement is able to pass on a significant share of export prices to farmers, a key objective of the liberalization of commodity markets in Africa. As Ghana continues to capitalize on its recent discovery of off-shore oil reserves, the government and donors alike are concerned that the competitiveness of the cocoa sector may be threatened. The overall objective of this study is to examine the competitiveness of the cocoa sector by focusing on four aspects of the current set of institutions, including (1) the process of determining producer prices; (2) the outcomes of the introduction of private licensed buying companies; (3) COCOBOD’s role in maintain quality, and the costs and benefits of this process; and (4) trends in COCOBOD expenditure on the provision of various goods and services. The methodology adopted for this study is primarily that of an expenditure review.

     Putting Gender on the Map: Methods for mapping gendered farm management systems in Sub-Saharan Africa

Meinzen-Dick, Ruth Suseela; van Koppen, Barbara; Behrman, Julia A.; Karelina, Zhenya; Akamandisa, Vincent; Hope, Lesley; Wielgosz, Ben 2012
Although the different roles of men and women in agriculture in different parts of Sub-Saharan Africa have been widely acknowledged, there have not been consistent efforts to collect data on these patterns. This paper presents a way of classifying gendered farm management systems and then describes pilots of four different approaches to collecting and georeferencing information on the dominant pattern in each area. Case studies from existing literature provided valuable insights but represent a time-consuming method, limited in spatial coverage and often leaving gaps because the original study authors did not report on all of the aspects of interest for a gendered farm management systems analysis. Expert consultations conducted in Ghana and Zambia allowed for dialogue among participants during map development, permitting them to explore nuances and dynamics. However, this technique may be restricted in scale to one country at a time, limiting cross-national comparison. An open online survey, or crowdsourcing, of the information tapped into a wide range of expertise, providing difficult-to-obtain widespread coverage, but had inconsistent data quality. Mapping of georeferenced information from nationally representative data could potentially provide widespread and relatively accurate data, but thus far the relevant underlying data have not been consistently included in large-scale surveys. Gender mapping offers an important step toward greater awareness of the diverse gender roles in agricultural farm management systems, but gaps remain between field reality and the understanding of gender relations in research, on the one hand, and between the researchers‘ understanding and what can be displayed on a map, on the other. Addressing these gaps requires developing a consensus on the key variables that characterize gendered farming systems, collecting these data systematically, and then linking the data to other spatial information for use in planning and prioritizing development interventions.

     Mechanization in Ghana: Searching for sustainable service supply models

Diao, Xinshen; Cossar, Frances; Houssou, Nazaire; Kolavalli, Shashidhara; Jimah, Kipo; Aboagye, Patrick Ohene 2012
This paper assesses the sustainability of the current supply network for mechanization, given government policy. Stylized models of mechanization supply are developed based on experience in Bangladesh, China, and India during similar stages of agricultural transformation. Ghana’s supply network is then analyzed in light of key lessons from the Asian experience. The analysis focuses on two policy issues: (1) whether the current model promoted by the government has left enough room for the private sector to develop the supply chain, including machinery imports and trade, and (2) whether this model can better link smallholders’ demand for mechanized services to its supply, such that supply can further induce demand and mechanization can broaden its role in agricultural transformation.

     Cartels and rent sharing at the farmer-trader interface

Robinson, Elizabeth J. Z.; Ngeleza, Guyslain K. 2011
Ghana’s “market queens,” itinerant traders who purchase tomatoes from rural farms and bring them to the large urban markets, are accused of acting as a cartel, both driving down the price farmers receive and driving up the price urban consumers pay through restricting the volume of tomatoes entering key markets. Our paper provides the first detailed exploration of the interface between farmers and traders, combining a theoretical model with novel empirical data on daily prices and tomato quality that we collected from Ghana’s Upper East region. We find evidence that the traders do operate a cartel but that farmers who sell to them receive higher prices than if they sell to the local market, even though there is little difference in quality compared with tomatoes sold to the local market. This suggests that traders share cartel rents with these farmers, resulting in lower prices in rural areas, higher prices in the cities, and a greater constriction of total market volume. Our paper suggests that policymakers would do better to focus on the full value chain and on opening up the urban markets rather than on strengthening farmers’ bargaining power with the traders, which restricts market volumes and harms farmers unable to sell to traders.

     Cropping practices and labor requirements in field operations for major crops in Ghana

Ngeleza, Guyslain K.; Owusua, Rebecca; Jimah, Kipo; Kolavalli, Shashidhara 2011
This study is to examine the labor requirements associated with different cropping systems in Ghana in order to guide the prioritization of investments in mechanization in the country. First, major cropping systems are identified in the country by adopting the cropping pattern approach of Ruthenberg (1983), who defined farming systems according to the leading crop activities. Second, labor requirements and costs of production of crops in the various systems are examined at various levels of substitution of either herbicides or animal and mechanical traction for labor. We found that the total labor requirements varied among cropping systems. The requirements were particularly high in the two cocoa cropping systems in the forest zones. The requirements were particularly high for land preparation and crop maintenance. Looking across crops, land preparation and crop maintenance took the largest share of labor for cassava, yam, and maize. Rice, on the other hand, required large shares of labor for land preparation and harvesting. When all the systems are considered together, however, crop maintenance required more labor than land preparation. In response to apparent unavailability and cost of labor, farmers are increasingly demanding mechanical traction for land preparation in Ghana. The benefits of mechanizing land preparation depend on both the system and the type of crop cultivated. Mechanization of land preparation for cassava in the vegetable belt, for instance, is more labor saving and cost effective than m Mechanization of land preparation for cassava in cereals belt. Within systems, there is also variation across crops. Where mechanization is not feasible for land preparation or not yet adopted for other field operations such as weeding, an alternative and common substitution for labor in crop production is herbicides. Herbicides are used to clear land for planting as well as to control weeds in standing crops. We found that where herbicide was used, its application reduced labor requirements for land preparation significantly. Selective herbicides were used to control weeds in all the crops examined and in all the belts except the vegetable belt. They also reduced labor use for weeding drastically.

     Evaluating the Mexico city policy

Jones, Kelly M. 2011
US development assistance represents a significant source of funding for many population programs in poor countries. The Mexico City policy, known derisively as the global gag rule, restricts activities of foreign nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that receive such assistance. The intent of the policy is to reduce the use of abortion in developing countries—a policy that is born entirely of US domestic politics and that turns on and off depending on the political party in power. I examine here whether the policy achieves its aim, and how the policy affects reproductive outcomes for women in Ghana.Employing a woman-by-month panel of pregnancies and woman fixed effects, I estimate whether a given woman is less likely to abort a pregnancy during two policy periods versus two nonpolicy periods. I find no evidence that any demographic group reduces the use of abortion as a result of the policy. On the contrary, rural women significantly increase abortions. This effect seems to arise from their increased rate of conception during these times. The policy-induced budget shortfalls reportedly forced NGOs to cut rural outreach services, reducing the availability of contraceptives in rural areas. The lack of contraceptives likely caused the observed 12 percent increase in rural pregnancies, ultimately resulting in about 200,000 additional abortions and between 500,000 and 750,000 additional unintended births. I find that these additional unwanted children have significantly reduced height and weight for age, relative to their siblings.Rather than reducing abortion, this policy increased pregnancy, abortion, and unintended births, resulting in more than a half-million children of significantly reduced nutritional status.

     The renewed case for farmers’ cooperatives

Francesconi, Gian Nicola; Wouterse, Fleur Stephanie 2011
This study presents a stylized but insightful diagnostic of the problems limiting collective action in Ghanaian farmer-based organizations (FBOs). In our analysis, we use a structure-conduct-performance framework, econometrics, and new primary data for 500 FBOs collected through surveys and games. We find that most Ghanaian FBOs are inactive, failing to mobilize their members into any sort of collective action. To understand why this is so, we postulate that in rural Ghana, four typologies can be used to classify FBOs and to distinguish them on the basis of their membership structure and rules of conduct. We then show that FBOs fail to mobilize collective action whenever their structure and conduct are not aligned. In particular, misalignment leads mainly to problems of access to external credit and to a lesser extent to problems of internal cohesion. To maximize collective action, this study recommends the diversification of policy through recognizing the four different types of FBOs, each facing particular and to some extent opposing problems.

     Investigating the role of poultry in livelihoods and the impact of avian flu on livelihoods outcomes in Africa

Birol, Ekin; Asare-Marfo, Dorene; Ayele, Gezahegn; Mensa-Bonsu, Akwasi; Ndirangu, Lydia; Okpukpara, Benjamin; Roy, Devesh; Yakhshilikov, Yorbol 2010
In this paper we investigate the role of poultry in households' livelihoods portfolios and the impact of supply-and-demand shocks that may be caused by highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) on households' various livelihoods outcomes in four Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries. The study countries include Ethiopia and Kenya in East Africa and Ghana and Nigeria in West Africa. These countries represent a spectrum of SSA countries regarding disease status, means of disease spread, and the role of the poultry sector in the economy. By using nationally representative household-level secondary data and discrete choice methods (probit and zero-inflated negative binomial models), we profile the household, farm, and regional characteristics of those households that are most likely to keep poultry and those households that are most likely to be engaged in intensive poultry production (that is, to keep larger household flocks). We estimate the ex ante impact of HPAI outbreaks and scares/threats on livelihoods outcomes by using the propensity score matching approach. The results of this study generate valuable information regarding the role of poultry in the livelihoods of small-scale poultry-producing households and the livelihoods impacts of HPAI-induced supply-and-demand shocks. Such information is critical for the design of targeted, and hence effective, HPAI control and mitigation policies.

     Who has influence in multistakeholder governance systems?

Schiffer, Eva; Hartwich, Frank; Monge, Mario 2010
As multistakeholder governance has emerged as an important feature in development, new governance structures that foster the participation of multiple stakeholders from the public sector, civil society, and the private sector have emerged in various fields, ranging from the management of natural resources to the provision of public services. To make such governance structures work, it is essential to understand how different stakeholders influence decisionmaking and what determines their influence. This paper uses Net-Map, an innovative participatory method, to analyze how networking influences decisionmaking in multistakeholder governance structures, using the case of the governance board of the White Volta River Basin in northern Ghana as an example. The method visualizes both the relations between all stakeholders in watershed management as perceived by the 17 members on the board and their influence on development outcomes. The study suggests that significant effects of social networking are at play beyond the formal lines of command and funding as stakeholders in watershed management make decisions. Stakeholders are more influential if they participate more prominently in information exchange and provide more advice to others. This counterbalances the overrepresentation of government actors on the board. Meanwhile some government organizations have a low level of influence, even though they are central in giving funding and command. These findings may be interesting for program leaders and policymakers in watershed management: when designing governance structures they need to take into account the importance of social networking to attain main objectives of watershed development; it is important to provide space that allows the exchange of information and advice among stakeholders. Meanwhile, policymakers and program leaders as well must consider overrepresentation of social network champions in multistakeholder governance structures and the limited capacity of government bodies in social networking. The paper serves to introduce not only the specific findings concerning this case study but also the participatory research method (Net-Map) that was used.

     Optimal rainfall insurance contracts for maize producers in Ghana's Northern Region

Muamba, Francis M.; Ulimwengu, John M. 2010
The risk of food insecurity due to climate change in developing countries has encouraged development partners to seek new approaches to improve the resilience of subsistence agriculture to covariate shocks. Such innovative approaches include investment in safety nets such as rainfall insurance. However, a policy question remains: How does one determine the practicality of rainfall insurance for a particular district? This paper attempts to fill this gap by assessing the viability of rainfall insurance contracts for agricultural production in Ghana’s Northern Region. Using a stop-loss framework, an optimal contract is determined by choosing its parameters by maximizing the objective function in the form of covariance between crop loss and indemnity payment, the objective function given a predetermined fair premium rate. The theoretical contract is implemented using monthly rainfall and annual maize crop yield data from 1998 to 2004 from 12 districts in the Northern Region under varying premium rates. We conclude that rainfall insurance may not be viable for all districts in the Northern Region; however, the contracts are likely to be viable in districts that exhibit a positive Pearson correlation coefficient between maize yield loss and indemnity payments.

     Crop price indemnified loans for farmers

Karlan, Dean; Kutsoati, Ed; McMillan, Margaret S.; Udry, Christopher R. 2010
Farmers face a particular set of risks that complicate the decision to borrow. We use a randomized experiment to investigate (1) the role of crop-price risk in reducing demand for credit among famers and (2) how risk mitigation changes farmers' investment decisions. In rural Ghana, we offer farmers loans with an indemnity component that forgives 50 percent of the loan if crop prices drop below a threshold price. A control group is offered a standard loan product at the same interest rate. We find similar rates of loan uptake among all farmers and little significant impact of the indemnity component on uptake or other outcomes of interest, with the exception of higher likelihoods of garden egg cultivation and sales to market traders rather than at farmgate among recipients of indemnified loans.

     Do CAADP processes make a difference to country commitments to develop agriculture?: The case of Ghana

Kolavalli, Shashidhara; Flaherty, Kathleen; Al-Hassan, Ramatu M.; Baah, Kwaku Owusu 2010
The objective of this paper is primarily to understand how continental initiatives such as CAADP can and do influence country commitment to seek agriculture-led development. This paper employs Ghana as a case study to examine whether CAADP processes leading up to and including the country roundtable process enhance the visibility of the role of agriculture as a means of reducing poverty. The study explores whether countries take the leadership in adopting the CAADP framework. First, the paper provides perspective on the agricultural sector in Ghana and the role of agriculture in development strategies. Further, it reviews how the processes for implementation of CAADP have evolved and how they have influenced implementation in Ghana. It evaluates what impact CAADP may have on the content of agricultural policies in Ghana. Finally, the paper makes some suggestions for improving CAADP implementation.

     Internal migration and rural service provision in northern Ghana

Wouterse, Fleur Stephanie 2010
This paper uses a two-stage conditional maximum likelihood procedure and new data from Ghana to identify the determinants of rural-urban migration at the individual, household and community levels, with a particular focus on rural services. The econometric evidence supports the theoretical expectation that human-capital and network variables as well as assets are important determinants of migration. Taking the possible endogeneity of rural services into account, the evidence suggests that rural service improvements aimed at reducing economic isolation can enhance labor mobility and free up on-farm labor for migration by lowering transaction costs.

     Examining relationships between customary and state institutions in Ghana's decentralized system

Belden, Cory 2010
Traditional authorities are powerful leaders alongside the state in Ghana. The chieftaincy has been resilient to “modernization”—maintaining land rights, allegiance from citizens, and influence in rural communities. Nonetheless, there are few rules defining their official role in the local government structure. It is empirically acknowledged that chiefs seriously impact the development of their communities. Hence, this study looks for factors that might explain the state’s deficiency in policy regarding chiefs. This analysis combines the Institutional Analysis and Development (IAD) framework with theory on formal and informal rules. Not only does this adaptation provide additional insight, but it helps to reduce the complexity in political research on dual governance bodies. Findings suggest that the formal and informal rule sets coupled with the resources available to state and customary actors result in strong exchange organizations between the two institutions. Incentives encourage noninterference and avoidance from the state; thus, rules concerning the chieftaincy are rarely enforced or modified. If attempting to harness collaboration and mitigate conflict and collusion, the state—in partnership with the chiefs—might reconsider the lawful role and authorities of the chiefs at local levels. Based on the analysis, policy revisions are needed to improve the outcomes of the institutional arrangement; however, major changes may be difficult to achieve in the current political context.

     Opportunities and challenges of community-based rural drinking water supplies

Sun, Yan; Asante, Felix Ankomah; Birner, Regina 2010
Providing safe drinking water in rural areas is a major challenge because it is not easy to establish institutional arrangements that will ensure that drinking water facilities are provided, maintained, and managed in an efficient, equitable, and sustainable way. Like many other countries, Ghana has adopted a community-based approach to meet this challenge. Community-based water and sanitation committees (WATSANs) are in charge of managing drinking water facilities at the local level. They are supported by water and sanitation teams of each district administration and by the Community Water and Sanitation Agency, an independent agency that has been created to facilitate the community-based approach. This paper is based on the analysis of two survey datasets of WATSANs and households in rural Ghana. The paper confirms some findings of the earlier literature on this topic. For example, communities that have a higher level of existing community groups are more likely to have functioning WATSANs, while ethnically diverse communities are less likely to have these organizations. The paper also indicates that WATSANs have a positive effect on the mobilization of payment for water services. Using empirical data on local leaders, the paper shows that leadership also matters for the provision of safe drinking water. In particular, the paper suggests that female leaders seem to be effective in this respect.

     Overview of the agricultural input sector in Ghana

Krausova, Marika; Banful, Afua Branoah 2010
Knowledge of the characteristics and size of the agricultural input sector of a country is critical for policymakers to design appropriate interventions that not only foster growth in the sector, but also support the agricultural development goals of the country. In 2009, the International Food Policy Research Institute and the International Fertilizer Development Center jointly conducted a census of agricultural input dealers in Ghana to fill a critical data gap on the nature of the country�s agricultural input sector. This paper presents a detailed description of the sector�s structure, market practices, and supply chain. It also assesses the sector�s response to recently implemented fertilizer subsidies, and findings show that, despite the government�s goal of making the subsidy program supportive of the private market, the majority of fertilizer retailers were excluded from participating.

     In pursuit of votes

Horowitz, Leah; Palaniswamy, Nethra 2010
Decentralization reforms have been the overwhelming response to failures in the targeting of public resources by the central state in developing countries. The policy debate on decentralization typically revolves around several a priori hypotheses on how the design of formal institutions of local government, such as electoral rules, affects accountability in the provision and targeting of public goods. Yet a growing body of research suggests that many rules that structure political incentives and policy outcomes are informal. Indeed, it is widely acknowledged that informal rules such as legislative norms and clientelism can strongly influence political behavior and policy outcomes. This evidence makes a compelling case for both the impact of these informal institutions on political incentives and their role in complementing formal institutions and shaping the status quo when formal venues are absent or weak. How much do these formal institutions matter? How do they shape policy outcomes? In particular, do they merely substitute for weak or absent formal institutions or do they exist alongside and dominate these formal rules and institutions? In this paper, we examine the effect of informal institutions on decentralized public-resource allocation in Ghana. The decentralization policy debate in Ghana, as elsewhere, typically focuses on the role of formal institutions of local government in the targeting of local public resources. Through a comparative case study of two districts in northern Ghana, we argue that informal institutions, grounded in the rationale of partisan politics of the central state, are the key determinants of decentralized public-resource allocation outcomes. In particular, we show that this political rationale is expressed through an informal model of vote buying, and this vote buying is dictated by a national political agenda. Our findings suggest that ignoring this informal institution is likely to undermine the current efforts to reform decentralized public-resource allocation in Ghana.

     Institutional and public expenditure review of Ghana's Ministry of Food and Agriculture

Kolavalli, Shashidhara; Birner, Regina; Benin, Samuel; Horowitz, Leah; Babu, Suresh Chandra; Asenso-Okyere, Kwadwo; Thompson, Nii Moi; Poku, John 2010
The need for agricultural ministries to have the capacity to develop appropriate policies and effectively implement them is becoming increasingly important as African countries, following on their commitment to Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP), pursue economic growth through agriculture-led development. The ministries need to take the lead in pulling together evidence based strategies and building partnerships that ensures their ownership. As donors begin to align their policies with those of governments, an increasingly large share of external support to agriculture is likely to be delivered in the form of support to budgets rather than specially implemented projects. Capacities of ministries and effectiveness public systems will have significant bearing on effectiveness and impact of investments in agriculture. This public expenditure and institutional review of Ghana's Ministry of Food and Agriculture offers insights on diagnosing limitations to and identifying strategies for improving the capacity of ministries to make effective use of human and financial resources. The review makes use a conceptual framework in which mission and functions, organizational capacity - a combination of structures, processes and resources -and organizational incentives interact to produce organizational performance. Indicative strategies are recommended that the ministry can use to generate discussions internally and developed a set a reforms that are owned. They key message is that to improve performance both capacity and incentives faced by organizations need to be addressed.

     Old problems in the new solutions?

Banful, Afua Branoah 2010
Despite their disappointing performance in the recent past, fertilizer subsidies have re-emerged as a tool in the agricultural strategies of many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. The new paradigm for fertilizer subsidies calls for use of such mechanisms as vouchers to target benefits to poor smallholders and public�private partnerships to develop private markets. There is some belief that with these innovations, fertilizer subsidy programs will circumvent the deleterious consequences of the programs of the past. However, there has been a glaring lack of innovation in how to prevent politics from dominating the allocation of subsidy program benefits and exacerbating inefficiencies as was the experience in earlier programs. This paper studies how vouchers, which could be used towards the purchase of fertilizer, were distributed amongst districts in Ghana�s 2008 fertilizer subsidy program. We find that politics played a significant role in the allocation of vouchers. Higher numbers of vouchers were targeted to districts that the ruling party had lost in the previous presidential elections and more so in districts that had been lost by a higher margin. A district received 2 percent more vouchers for each percentage point by which the ruling party had lost the previous presidential election - this amount is both statistically and numerically significant. The analysis also shows that district poverty levels, which should have been an important consideration in an economic efficiency motivated distribution, were not a statistically significant determinant of districts� voucher allocation. The evidence that vouchers were targeted to areas in which the opposition party received strong support is suggestive of the vouchers being used for vote-buying. This finding raises the caution that despite innovations in implementing fertilizer subsidies, politically motivated allocation of subsidy benefits remains a major potential source of inefficiency.

     Foreign inflows and growth challenges for African countries

Diao, Xinshen; Breisinger, Clemens 2010
Foreign inflows are important sources of income that many African governments use to finance public investments and to support the development of manufacturing or export-oriented service sectors. Yet the recent growth experience of many African economies shows that domestic-oriented industry (construction, utilities) and services have become the largest sectors. Using Ghana and its newly found oil as an example, we analyze the dynamic relationship between increasing foreign inflows and economic growth and structural change by developing a multisector intertemporal general equilibrium model. We find that the sudden increase in petrodollars used to finance either the government's recurrent spending or public investment generates a substantial short-run growth shock consistent with the Dutch disease theory. Opposed short-run effects on the growth of the tradable and nontraded sectors lead the structure of the economy to become more domestic oriented. The creation of an oil fund helps reduce the negative growth and structural effect, while in the longer term, if oil spending does not enhance productivity, growth declines and the GDP share of the nontraded sector further increases. Smart use of oil revenue thus not only involves the creation of an oil fund but also spending inflows on productivity-enhancing investment. Whether public investments can help overcome Dutch disease effects also depends on the growth magnitude of the inflows. At the same level of investment-to-productivity-growth efficiency, public investments take longer to overcome the negative growth effects the higher the growth rate of inflows. This paper further shows that the structural effect of foreign inflows on economic development is a long-term challenge for Africa. The domestic-oriented economic structure can become a persistent phenomenon for countries that continue to receive foreign inflows in the form of petrodollars or in any other form.

     A review of collective action in rural Ghana

Salifu, Adam; Francesconi, Gian Nicola; Kolavalli, Shashidhara 2010
With the beginning of the new millennium and the increasing concerns with regard to wild privatization reforms, African governments, international donors and development scholars have been showing renewed interest in collective action. As a result, farmer-based organization (FBOs) and agricultural cooperatives (agri-coops) are back on the policy agenda for Africa as a preferential means to achieve a more equitable, inclusive and community-driven development of rural areas. The objective of this paper is to provide a snapshot of the patterns and determinants in the development of FBOs and agri�coops in Ghana. With the intention to fill knowledge gaps, harmonize perceptions, update and broaden public understanding of FBOs and agri�coops in Ghana, this review compiles and compares as much secondary evidence as possible and fills in missing evidence through focus group discussions and key informant interviews. The paper concludes with some implications for policy-making and for further and more empirical research.

     Do institutions limit clientelism?

Banful, Afua Branoah 2009
"Analyses of how coveted central-government resources in Africa are shared have shown widespread patronage, ethnic cronyism, and pork-barrel politics. While some governments have attempted to rectify the situation by establishing revenue-sharing formulas, a key unanswered question is whether such institutions are able to achieve this goal. This paper presents an empirical investigation of a pioneering formula-based system of resource allocation from the central government to local governments in Ghana�the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF). The evidence is consistent with governments being able to politically manipulate resource allocation within the confines of the formula-based system. Nevertheless, this does not suggest that the DACF completely fails to limit political influence. It indicates that other guiding structures of a formula-based system�in particular, how and when the formula can be altered�are important determinants of how well a program such as the DACF is able to resist political pressures." --from authors' abstract

     Do external grants to district governments discourage own-revenue generation?

Mogues, Tewodaj; Benin, Samuel; Cudjoe, Godsway 2009
Decentralization is expected to lead to greater efficiency in the allocation of public resources, as subnational governments are said to have better information than central government about the needs for and requirements of public services in their jurisdictions, especially in agricultural and rural areas, where information about rural residents' priorities is more limited. This purported benefit of decentralization rests strongly on the assumption that local governments can in fact exercise fiscal discretion to allocate resources. However, local government budgets are commonly dominated by intergovernmental and external transfers, which are often tied to specific investments, and these at times may not match local government priorities. Thus, local governments' fiscal autonomy may ultimately depend on their ability to generate sufficient revenue internally. Panel data on district governments' public finances in Ghana are used to examine the impact of the flow and size of external transfers on districts' internally generated revenues. The evidence suggests that external transfers crowd out local governments' own revenues, which could potentially result in the loss of equity and efficiency gains associated with decentralization. This result points to the need for a careful review of Ghana's fiscal transfer mechanisms in light of the central government's goal of encouraging districts to contribute to rural development through effective local public spending and public service provision.

     Economywide impact of avian flu in Ghana

Diao, Xinshen 2009
"We use a dynamic CGE model to quantitatively assess the economywide impact of HPAI in Ghana. The likely effect of an avian flu outbreak is modeled as demand or supply shocks to the poultry sector. Our analysis shows that, while chicken is a quite small sector of the Ghanaian economy, the shock in chicken demand due to consumers' anxieties is the dominant factor in causing chicken production to fall. The indirect effect on soybean and maize that are used as chicken feed is also large. Under the worst-case scenario, soybean production will fall by 37 percent and maize by 6.4 percent. However, the economywide impact on both AgGDP and GDP is very small. In the worst-case scenario, in which chicken production falls by 70 percent in 2011, AgGDP falls by only 0.4 percent and GDP is almost unchanged. However, the livelihood impacts of a HPAI outbreak could be significant for some sections of the population in Ghana particularly those involved in the poultry sector. Micro-level analysis of chicken producers' livelihood, therefore, is necessary." --from authors' abstract

     Dynamics of structural transformation

Badibanga, Thaddée; Diao, Xinshen; Roe, Terry L.; Somwaru, Agapi 2009
"The paper develops a metric of structural transformation that can account for the production of new varieties of goods embodying advancements in technological know-how and design. Our measure captures the dynamics of an economy's transformation and can be viewed as an extension of Hausmann and Klinger's static measure. We apply our measure to four-digit-level SITC trade data of China, Malaysia, and Ghana over the period 1962-2000. The results show that two important factors characterize the rapid transformation of the Chinese economy: the high proximity of its export basket to three main industrial clusters-capital goods, consumer durable goods, and intermediate inputs-and the increase in the values of the new goods belonging to those three clusters. Malaysia exhibits a similar but more modest pattern. In contrast, the structure of the Ghanaian economy appears unchanged over the entire 1962-2000 period. That economy is dominated by primary goods clusters, and the values of the goods in those clusters have remained relatively low. We also discuss qualitatively the role of policies and institutions in spurring transformation in the three countries." --from authors' abstract

     Participation by men and women in off-farm activities

McCarthy, Nancy; Sun, Yan 2009
"Using survey data from the Upper East region of Ghana collected in 2005, the paper evaluates the household- and community-level factors influencing women’s and men’s decisions to participate in off-farm activities, either in the off-farm labor market or in local community groups, and the relationship with on-farm crop returns. Results indicate that crop returns are not affected by increased labor availability over a certain labor-land ratio. Female participation in off-farm labor markets increases at higher levels of labor availability, but participation in women’s groups’ only increases as labor scarcity is relaxed at lower levels. Alternatively, male participation in off-farm work increases over all levels of labor availability. Results also indicate that male labor is relatively more productive on-farm versus off-farm than female labor, and, though education increases the likelihood that both women and men will work off-farm (with no impact on crop revenues), the impact is greater for women. Finally, participation in off-farm work does not appear to be driven by the need to reduce exposure to risk or to manage risk ex post; wealthier households located in wealthier communities are more likely to participate in off-farm work. Evidence for participation in groups and risk is more complicated; wealthier households in wealthier communities are also more likely to participate, but so too are female-headed households with higher dependency ratios." --from authors' abstract

     Economic growth and distribution of income

Nelson, Harumi T.; Roe, Terry L.; Diao, Xinshen 2009
The extent to which growth reduces poverty has been disputed for years, as has the controversy surrounding trade-offs between policies that seek growth and those that address equity. Structural models linking economic growth and the distribution of income and expenditure are relatively recent and have not been exploited. This paper exploits this literature by adapting and extending it to a multisector growth model with intermediate inputs, composite capital, and government revenue and expenditures, while accounting for income and expenditure, by quintile, of households in the modeled economy. The model is fit to Ghanaian data. We find that about 50 years are required to double income per worker, while lower- and upper-quintile levels of household income tend to converge modestly toward mean household income over time. Nevertheless, the dispersion of income remains relatively high in the long run. The sensitivity of these results to productivity shocks favoring agriculture shows that increasing labor productivity leads to growth with little change in the distribution of income relative to the base solution. Increasing land productivity and decreasing protection of the industrial sector do not alter the basic trends but do tend to cause the lower-income groups to fall further below �new� mean income and the higher-income group to exceed mean income relative to the base solution.

     Managing future oil revenues in Ghana

Breisinger, Clemens; Diao, Xinshen; Schweickert, Rainer; Wiebelt, Manfred 2009
Contemporary policy debates on the macroeconomics of resource booms often concentrate on the short-run Dutch disease effects of public expenditure, ignoring the possible long-term effects of alternative revenue-allocation options and the supply-side impact of royalty-financed public investments. In a simple model applied here, the government decides the level and timing of resource-rent spending. This model also considers productivity spillovers over time, which may exhibit a sector bias toward domestic production or exports. A dynamic computable general equilibrium (DCGE) model is used to simulate the effect of temporary oil revenue inflows to Ghana. The simulations show that beyond the short-run Dutch disease effects, the relationship between windfall profits, growth, and households’ welfare is less straightforward than what the simple model of the “resource curse” suggests. The DCGE model results suggest that designing a rule that allocates oil revenues to both productivity-enhancing investments and an oil fund is crucial to achieving shared growth and macroeconomic stability.

     Decentralization and local public services in Ghana

Akramov, Kamiljon T.; Asante, Felix Ankomah 2009
"This paper explores disparities in local public service provision between decentralized districts in Ghana using district- and household-level data. The empirical results show that districts' geographic locations play a major role in shaping disparities in access to local public services in Ghana. Most importantly, the findings suggest that ethnic diversity has significant negative impact in determining access to local public services, including drinking water. This negative impact is significantly higher in rural areas. However, the negative impact of ethnic diversity in access to local public services (drinking water) decreases as average literacy level increases. The paper relates the results to literature and discusses policy implications of main findings." --from authors' abstract

     Agriculture for development in Ghana

Breisinger, Clemens; Diao, Xinshen; Thurlow, James; Al-Hassan, Ramatu M. 2008
"This paper has been prepared in support of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP) roundtable in Ghana. The study also takes a fresh perspective on the role of agriculture for development in light of the global food crisis. It addresses two main questions: what are the impacts of Green-revolution type agricultural growth to reach the CAADP goal in Ghana? Given the large investments required to achieve such productivity-led growth, what is the sector's contribution to the overall economy? Results from the dynamic computable general equilibrium model suggest that by closing the existing yield gaps in crop production and supporting essential growth in the livestock sector Ghana can achieve CAADP's 6 percent growth target. In this process, agriculture supports the rest of the economy through substantial and largely invisible monetary transfers to the nonagricultural sectors, which are primarily driven by the reduction of domestic food prices. Thus, CAADP growth benefits both rural and urban households, and reduces poverty by more than half within 10 years. However, widening regional disparities between the North and the rest of Ghana will increasingly pose a challenge for the development. Additional measures more targeted towards generating growth in the lagging North will be necessary to bridge the income gap and reach Ghana's poorest of the poor." -- from Author's Abstract

     Information flow and acquisition of knowledge in water governance in the Upper East Region of Ghana

Schiffer, Eva; McCarthy, Nancy; Birner, Regina; Waale, Douglas; Asante, Felix Ankomah 2008
"This paper provides an assessment of information flows and the acquisition of knowledge in water governance of the Upper East Region, Ghana. These flows are patchy, often parallel, disconnected or slow. In many cases a great deal of information is gathered but for a number of reasons not transferred into knowledge that impacts on decision making and action. An analysis of knowledge flows can serve as guidance for research projects and capacity building endeavours to allow tackling the gap between data collection and knowledge for action." --from authors' abstract

     Tracing power and influence in networks

Schiffer, Eva; Waale, Douglas 2008
"Believing that complex problems call for complex solutions and that stakeholders should have a say in policies that concern them, policymakers have strongly promoted the development of forums and organizations made up of many stakeholders to address complex governance issues such as water management. Both developing and developed countries have instituted multistakeholder water governance bodies on local, national, and international levels. However, while the belief is strong that these integrated bodies should improve governance, how and to what extent that actually happens is still unclear, not only because of the complexity of the matter but also due to a lack of appropriate research tools for the analysis of complex governance systems. This paper presents an innovative empirical research tool"Net-Map"developed to better understand multistakeholder governance by gathering in-depth information about governance networks, goals of actors, and their power and influence. Researchers and implementers alike can use Net-Map to collect qualitative and quantitative information in a structured and comparable way. It can be used both as a research tool and as an instrument for organizational development and strategic network planning. A case study on the development of a multistakeholder water governance body in northern Ghana illustrates the application of this research method. The method can be used on many different levels, from the community, to national or even international levels. Net-Map merges characteristics of two existing methods, namely social network analysis and the power mapping tool. Using a participatory approach, interviewees and interviewers together draw a network map of the actors involved in the policy arena and characterize the different kinds of links between the actors. They then add -influence towers,- made of checkers pieces, to transfer the abstract concepts of power and influence into a three-dimensional form. Finally, the interviewee assesses the goal orientation of the different actors (for example, developmental versus environmental or pro versus con a certain intervention). The tool provides an influence network map of the governance situation as well as qualitative and quantitative data about the perceived power and influence of the actors. While the data lend themselves to complex quantitative analysis, this paper mainly focuses on the use of the tool for the purpose of mapping and organizational development. The paper explores how the mapping process itself also stimulates a structured in-depth discussion of crucial issues and ways forward. In Ghana, the method has proven to be interculturally applicable and easy to apply and adapt. Interviewees were excited about their own learning processes throughout the interview. Implicit understanding and concepts were visualized and made explicit so that group members could understand where they agree and differ in their perception of the governance arena." -- from Author's Abstract

     It’s a small world after all

Chamberlin, Jordan 2008
"Strategies for boosting the agricultural economies of developing countries usually focus on small farms, attempting, for example, to link smallholders with markets through production chain development. However, such strategies often fail to differentiate between different types of small farmers or to investigate the distribution of assets within the group—efforts that are important because unequal distributions of assets can restrict pro-poor growth. Further, strategies to develop production chains favor some small farmers over others (i.e., those already participating in targeted chains and those with relatively more productive assets). Using landholding size as an organizational filter, we performed a basic descriptive analysis of smallholder traits in Ghana, using data from the 2005–2006 Ghana Living Standards Survey (GLSS5). We found strong inequalities in landholding distributions within Ghana’s small-farm sector in all regions of the country. Using a classification of smallholders we derived based on landholding size, we examined a variety of small-farm traits and found that many of the broadly perceived defining characteristics of smallholder agriculture—such as low input use and low market engagement—are negatively correlated with landholding size. The crowding of farms at the smaller end of the small-farm spectrum in Ghana suggests that rural development strategies based on expanding existing market chains will face challenges in connecting with the bulk of small producers, who are less well endowed than average statistics indicate." --from authors' abstract

     Reaching middle-income status in Ghana by 2015

Benin, Samuel; Mogues, Tewodaj; Cudjoe, Godsway; Randriamamonjy, Josee 2008
"Using district-level data on public expenditures from 2000 to 2006, and household-level production data from the 2005/06 Ghana Living Standards Survey, this paper estimates the returns to different types of public investments across four agro-ecological zones of Ghana. We then assess the amount of public agricultural expenditures required to raise agricultural growth to 6.9 percent per year until 2015, as this is the target growth needed for Ghana to achieve its goal of middle-income status. The results reveal that provision of various public goods and services has substantial impact on agricultural productivity. A one percent increase in public spending on agriculture is associated with a 0.15 percent increase in agricultural labor productivity, with a benefit-cost ratio of 16.8. Spending on feeder roads ranks second (with a benefit-cost ratio of 8.8), followed by health (1.3). Formal education was negatively associated with agricultural productivity. The estimated marginal effects and returns differ across the four agro-ecological zones. For Ghana to achieve middle income status by 2015, agricultural public spending should grow at an estimated rate of 19.6 percent per year, or by a total amount of GH¢264 million (or US$478 million) per year in 2000 prices over the 2005–2015 period. These requirements are lower if the government is able to achieve a higher efficiency in its public spending than the estimated elasticity of 0.15; this could potentially be achieved by reforming public institutions to improve the provision of agriculture-related public goods and services." --from authors' abstract

     Accelerating growth and structural transformation

Breisinger, Clemens; Diao, Xinshen; Thurlow, James; Yu, Bingxin; Kolavalli, Shashidhara 2008
Ghana is an emerging success story in Africa and in a couple of years will become the first African country to achieve the first Millennium Development Goal of halving its national poverty rate. The government of Ghana has therefore extended its development vision and recently declared the goal of reaching middle-income-country (MIC) status by 2015. To analyze possible pathways and implications of achieving MIC status, this paper examines other countries' experiences on their way to becoming MICs and emphasizes the important role of growth acceleration, export diversification, and economic structural change in the transformation process. The paper further analyzes Ghana?s growth options and their structural implications using a dynamic computable general equilibrium model recently developed for Ghana. The results of the model simulation suggest that Ghana?s annual GDP growth rate must accelerate from the recent 5.5 percent to 7.6 percent to achieve MIC status by 2015. Unlike in other countries, agriculture in Ghana is likely to remain the mainstay of growth and export earnings, while the role of manufacturing growth in achieving MIC status may be constrained by the manufacturing sector's dependency on agricultural inputs and small size. Services may not become the prime mover of accelerated growth, but improved efficiency in trade, transport, and business services will be a key for growth acceleration in other sectors." -- from Author's Abstract

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