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

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

     Competitiveness of the Ghanaian vegetable sector: Findings from a farmer survey

Van Asselt, Joanna; Masias, Ian; Kolavalli, Shashidhara 2018
This study looks broadly at the state of vegetable competitiveness in Ghana; focusing on trade, production, profitability, and marketing. Ghana is dependent on imports to meet its vegetable consumption requirements. While Ghana has the potential to meet local vegetable demand because of its diverse agro-ecological zones, currently production is highly seasonal and yields are significantly lower than in neighboring countries. Large urban markets are restricted by networks of traders and, while farmers can get higher prices through these networks, many farmers lack market power and struggle to access the marketing networks. This may lower incentives for vegetable farmers to increase their production. However, despite these challenges, vegetable production is profitable and there is potential for significant expansion. Strategies to improve yields as well as measures to remove restrictions on entry to major markets should be considered.

     Identifying priority value chains in Ghana

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

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

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

     Development of agricultural mechanization in Ghana: Network, actors, and institutions

Cossar, Frances; Houssou, Nazaire; Asante-Addo, Collins 2016
This paper characterizes the network of tractor service providers in Ghana. Using the case of Ejura-Sekye-dumase district, this research examines the implications of the adoption of mechanical technology in agriculture for farmers and institutions based on perspectives that go beyond the suppliers and users of mechanization ser-vices alone. The results suggest that, in addition to rising population density and favorable access to local and regional markets, the current pattern of use of tractors by farmers in Ejura district emerged from favorable histori-cal and institutional factors. The current arrangement involving a network of private tractor owners providing trac-tor hire services to a broad set of farmers draws upon the legacy of an earlier institutional intervention and is sus-tained organizationally through kinship and other existing social relationships within and outside the district. More-over, the expansion of tractor use has created a set of new roles and relationships within the network. Participa-tion in the network is affected by various factors, including farmer’s access to capital and knowledge, experience, and contacts. This privately operated network is significantly more efficient and provides small-scale farmers with considerably better access to plowing service than did previous government-managed systems. Further develop-ment of the tractor service sector is likely to improve the quality of mechanization offered to smallholder farmers, enhance bargaining power for farmers seeking such services, and reduce structural weaknesses within the net-work.

     Flood recession agriculture for food security in Northern Ghana: Literature review on extent, challenges, and opportunities

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

     Big tractors, but small farms: Tractor hiring services as a farmer-owner’s response to an under-developed agricultural machinery market

Houssou, Nazaire; Asante-Addo, Collins; Diao, Xinshen; Kolavalli, Shashidhara 2015
The debate about agricultural mechanization in Africa south of the Sahara (SSA) has largely ignored the role of the capital service market in spreading the use of mechanical technologies. Yet, custom machinery hiring ser-vices have been essential for the widespread use and ownership of tractors and other agricultural machines in many countries where small farms are dominant. Using survey data collected in 2013, this paper suggests that tractor services can play a key role in the adoption of tractor use among Ghanaian farming households. Medium and large-scale farmers own tractors in the survey districts, while most small-scale farmers access tractors through hire services. Farmers expand their farm size when they acquire a tractor, but not to such an extent as to fully utilize the capacity of the machine. They engage in hiring-out tractor services to increase the scale of tractor use and make profits. Medium-scale farmers offer the bulk of tractor services. These farmers will be key for spreading agricultural mechanization in Ghana.

     Hybrid maize seed supply in Ghana

Tripp, Robert; Ragasa, Catherine 2015
This paper examines factors related to the supply of hybrid maize seed in Ghana and lays the groundwork for research on the demand side. There are a number of public maize hybrids, but most are recently released and only a few are readily available to farmers. There has also been importation of hybrid maize seed, but this is now severely restricted. The current system for variety release is undergoing modification and has proven particularly unsatisfactory for imported hybrids. One of the major challenges in promoting the public hybrids has been an inef-ficient source seed system, and this has affected the prospects of the relatively few emerging domestic seed companies that are attempting to produce and market local hybrids. There are also serious deficiencies in mar-keting local hybrids. Problems in local hybrid production and marketing and small quantities of imported seed mean that only a small minority of farmers have experience with maize hybrids. The paper also looks at the regu-latory and policy issues affecting hybrid maize promotion and examines the interplay between the substantial portfolio of donor projects supporting the seed sector and government stances and priorities. The paper con-cludes with a consideration of priorities for seed system development and a preliminary assessment of the imme-diate prospects for hybrid maize seed supply in Ghana.

     Is Ghana making progress in agro-processing? Evidence from an inventory of processed food products in retail shops in Accra

Andam, Kwaw; Al-Hassan, Ramatu M.; Asante, Seth Boamah; Diao, Xinshen 2015
One likely outcome of Ghana’s rising household incomes and increasing urbanization is a higher demand for processed foods. The question remains whether this expected higher demand will generate opportunities for growth in domestic agro-processing. This study assesses the performance of the agro-processing sector in Ghana through an inventory of processed and packaged food items in retail shops around Accra. The inventory shows: 1. The agro-processing subsector offers opportunities for domestic firms, with Ghanaian brands accounting for 27 percent of the items identified. 2. In addition to forming nearly a third of products identified, locally-processed products have penetrated diverse market segments with sales across a variety of retail outlets. 3. Regional imports of processed and packaged food items are low. Excluding South African brands, which accounted for 7.8 percent of imports, only 4.3 percent of the items were imported from other African countries. 4. Domestic agro-processors provided the highest share of products among processed starches and cereals, while imports dominate processed dairy, fruits, vegetables, and meat products.

     Decentralizing agricultural public expenditures: Findings from a scoping study at the onset of a new stage in Ghana’s decentralization reform

Mogues, Tewodaj; Omusu-Baah, Kwaku 2014
This paper offers insights into the current status of agricultural expenditure decentralization and draws out the likely implications of this stage in the decentralization process for agricultural service delivery and national strategies.

     Ghana Agriculture Production Survey (GAPS): 2011/2012 minor season Survey: Report on data quality and key indicators

Osei-Akoto, Isaac; Horlu, Godwin Agbemavor; Bonsu, Adwinmea; Appiah-Kubi, Wilson 2014
Since 1999, the Statistics, Research, and Information Directorate (SRID) of Ghana’s Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) has been collecting data and administering surveys using a Multi-Round Annual Crop and Livestock Survey (MRACLS) system to inform agricultural policy formulation and implementation. MRACLS provides information on agricultural production by giving estimates of field areas and yields of important crops. This method, however, does not provide detailed information about farmers, their practices, and the inputs they use, nor does it provide detailed information about local agricultural infrastructure. Therefore, an effort has been made to bridge the gap between agricultural data needs and data availability and quality.

     Agricultural mechanization in Ghana

Houssou, Nazaire; Diao, Xinshen; Cossar, Frances; Kolavalli, Shashidhara; Jimah, Kipo; Aboagye, Patrick Ohene 2013
The Government of Ghana (GoG) since 2007 has been providing subsidized agricultural machines to individual farmers and private enterprises established as specialized Agricultural Mechanization Services Enterprise Centers (AMSECs) to offer tractor-hire services to small-scale farmers across the country. Current demand in the country is primarily focused on land preparation services, especially plowing. This paper assesses whether AMSEC enterprises are a viable business model attractive to private investors. Using firm investment theory and field-based data on costs, revenues, and tractor efficiency, this research examines the profitability of specialized agricultural mechanization service provision with a focus on land preparation. Findings suggest that the AMSEC model is not a viable business model, even with the current level of subsidy. Low operational scale is the most important constraint to the profitability of investment in specialized agricultural mechanization service provision. With such a low operational scale, it is essential to consider various options for introducing low-cost, small tractors suited to the current farming scale in the country. Also, a used tractor model is one of the options available for policymakers in the country. Tractor-hire services can play an important role in transforming smallholder agriculture, but with heavy subsidies on big and costly tractors, the subsidy policy can distort supply chain development. As a result, many better-suited and lower-cost machines are unlikely to be introduced into local markets.

     Aflatoxin control strategies in the groundnut value chain in Ghana

Florkowski, Wojciech J.; Kolavalli, Shashidhara 2013
The objective of this paper is to identify strategies to reduce aflatoxin contamination of groundnuts in Ghana in order to enable the development of competitive and safe groundnut-based value-adding enterprises. We examine the quality assur-ance institutions with oversight on the groundnut value chain and the perceptions and practices of farmers and other agents along that value chain. We also test for aflatoxin contamination in groundnuts and groundnut products that have received varying degrees of processing.

     Patterns of adoption of improved rice technologies in Ghana

Ragasa, Catherine; Dankyi, Awere; Acheampong, Patricia; Wiredu, Alexander Nimo; Chapoto, Antony; Asamoah, Marian; Tripp, Robert 2013
This study aims to provide up-to-date analysis using rarely collected nationwide data on the patterns of adoption of improved technologies for rice in Ghana.

     Ghana's commercial seed sector: New incentives or continued complacency?

Tripp, Robert; Mensah-Bonsu, Akwesi 2013
This paper examines the current status and recent changes in Ghana’s commercial seed system for field crops. It includes a review of present performance and an examination of the factors that might influence the course of seed system develop-ment in the near future. The paper is timely because a number of changes in policies, regulations, responsibilities, and commercial interests mean that this could be a period of significant transition for Ghana’s seed sector, perhaps marking an end to the stagnation and complacency that have characterized the sector for the past several decades.

     Animal traction in Ghana

Houssou, Nazaire; Kolavalli, Shashidhara; Bobobee, Emmanuel; Owusu, Victor 2013
The recent interest of the government of Ghana in agricultural mechanization has largely focused on the provision of tractors and imported machinery to the farming population. Animal traction has not received much attention from the country’s policymakers. The strong demand for mechanization services (Houssou et al., 2012; Benin et al., 2012) and inadequate number of tractors to meet the demand in the country call for more effective use of other power sources for the agriculture sector. Using a survey of farmers who use draft animals and focus group discussions with farmers and key informants in the sector, this research examines the use of animal traction and analyses the major constraints to its widespread use in Northern Ghana.

     Patterns of adoption of improved maize technologies in Ghana

Ragasa, Catherine; Dankyi, Awere; Acheampong, Patricia; Wiredu, Alexander Nimo; Chapoto, Antony; Asamoah, Marian; Tripp, Robert 2013
The study aims to provide up-to-date and rarely collected nationwide data and analysis on the patterns of adoption of improved technologies for maize in Ghana.

     Farmer based organizations in Ghana

Salifu, Adam; Funk, Rebecca Lee; Keefe, Meagan; Kolavalli, Shashidhara 2012

     Analyzing profitability of maize, rice, and soybean production in Ghana

Akramov, Kamiljon T.; Malek, Mehrab 2012

     Agricultural research in Ghana: An IFPRI-STEPRI report

van Rheenen, Teunis; Obirth-Opareh, Nelson; Essegbey, George Owusu; Kolavalli, Shashidhara; Ferguson, Jenna; Boadu, Paul; Masahudu, Fuseni; Chiang, Catherine 2012

     A long-term census and survey program for Ghana

Muñoz, Juan 2011
This report has been defined in accordance with the initial terms of reference. I first tried to develop a vision of the long-term census and survey system through interviews held with diverse stakeholders. I thus identified the clients and their expectations. The next step was to pinpoint the raw materials and main products, in order to develop a vision of the Ghanaian census and household survey system as a production process. Finally, I evaluated GSS’ resources, capabilities and limitations to conduct the process, and as a result, developed a business plan for the forthcoming years. The Census and Household Survey Systems’ main clients are the Ghanaian decisionmakers in the line ministries and international support agencies. The main stakeholders are the Ministries of Health, Education, and Agriculture. Demand for household survey data also comes from private individuals, private organizations, and research institutions in Ghana and abroad. Other elements of the Ghanaian statistical system, such as the National Accounts System and the Consumer Price Index, also need input from household-related information.

     Irrigation development in Ghana

Namara, Regassa E.; Horowitz, Leah; Nyamadi, Ben; Barry, Boubacar 2011
Agriculture has a central socioeconomic position in Ghana. This sector accounts for about 65 percent of the work force, about 40 percent of the gross domestic product, and about 40 percent of foreign currencies acquired through exports. Although agriculture is a key part of the country’s economy, the structure of the sector is vulnerable because it relies on rainfed agriculture during a roughly six-month rainy season. Droughts and other types of unseasonable weather pose risks for farmers. Under these conditions, irrigation development offers the promise of greater food security and the rural-area development by ensuring yearlong agricultural production.

     A strategy for agricultural Statistics in Ghana

Quiñones, Esteban J.; Muñoz, Juan; Ngeleza, Guyslain K. 2011
Agriculture is the backbone of the Ghanaian economy. It plays an important role in the socioeconomic development of Ghana as it contributes to ensuring food security, provides raw materials for local industries, generates foreign exchange, and provides employment and incomes for most of the population (especially those living in the rural areas), thereby contributing to economic development and poverty reduction. The central goal of Ghana’s current development strategy, which is detailed in the Poverty Reduction Strategy II (GPRS-II), is to accelerate economic growth in order to achieve middle-income status within a measurable planning period. Subsequently, the government has placed a focus on implementing agricultural policies to bring more land under cultivation in order to generate a rapid supply response that will quickly benefit the poor in rural areas.1 These interventions are also intended to help develop a private agricultural sector that contributes to accelerated and sustained growth in the long run. Monitoring and evaluating the progress of these initiatives requires quality agricultural data for large-scale and household-based production that is collected frequently (in order to address the dynamics of agricultural production) on a spatially disaggregated level. This suggests the need for a system that regularly produces precise agricultural statistics on an annual basis at the district level. This is an important consideration because numerous interventions are currently implemented at that administrative level and many more will be operationalized at the district level in the future as Ghana continues to decentralize. However, recent data gathering activities by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) and the Statistics, Research, and Information Directorate (SRID) of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) do not currently meet these requirements. Future agricultural surveys must address this gap in order to support the government’s interventions and planning processes and, in turn, maximize the effectiveness of agricultural growth and poverty reduction efforts.

     Assessing crop production and input use patterns in Ghana

Quiñones, Esteban J.; Diao, Xinshen 2011
Agriculture in Ghana accounts for about 40 percent of national economy, three quarters of export earnings, and employs 60 percent of the labor force. Agriculture is the backbone of the economy (McKay and Aryeetey, 2004) and the sector has served as the main driver for the growth over the last two decades (World Bank, 2007). Moreover, agriculture is the most important sector for poverty reduction and has helped the country become the first Sub-Saharan African country to achieve the first objective of Millennium Development Goals (MDG1) by halving the country’s 1990 poverty rate before the 2015 target year.

     The case of tomato in Ghana

Robinson, Elizabeth J. Z.; Kolavalli, Shashi L. 2010
Ghana’s commitment to the tomato sector has its roots in the 1960s when three large tomato processing plants were established in the country. Though set up as part of President Nkrumah’s development plan for Ghana, the current rationale for these processors typically is that they could be a solution to the perennial “gluts” in the tomato sector. And indeed processing to reduce gluts remains a popular refrain in the media and in government pronouncements. However, since they were opened, the processors have run considerably under capacity, if at all. Over the past two decades processing has all but stopped; yields and production of fresh tomato in Ghana have stagnated and possibly fallen; while in parallel, imports of fresh tomato from Burkina Faso and tomato paste from the EU and China have increased dramatically. There are limited time-series or recent data on yields, areas, or overall production of tomato. Data collection at the national level for tomato and other vegetables by SRID/MoFA stopped at the end of the 1980s, reflecting a lower commitment to vegetables than the main food security staples. Good research into the tomato sector has been funded and undertaken, but in isolation of any commitment to follow through with project recommendations. Against this backdrop, we consider the role of various institutions in agriculture, and specifically in Ghana’s tomato sector.

     Tomato in Ghana

Robinson, Elizabeth J. Z.; Kolavalli, Shashi L. 2010
On 23 April 2010, farmers, traders, processors, agribusiness, Ghanaian and international academics, donors, and officials met in Accra for an exchange of views on how to revive the strategic but ailing tomato sector. The dialogue was organized by Ghana's Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), and centered around the presentation and discussion of a case study of the tomato sector in Ghana that addressed productivity, processing, marketing, and institutional support. The dialogue was an important step in an ongoing study of the tomato sector that involves a range of stakeholders, mirroring the diversity of the dialogue participants. The tomato case study, coordinated by IFPRI, is the result of contributions of many different stakeholders. The following individuals contributed directly: Kwabena Adu-Gyamfi (Afrique Link Ltd); Lydia Aforley Anum; Chris Lartey; Jones Okoe Tagoe; Kwame Owusu (Ghana National Tomato Traders and Transporters Assn); Aaron Attefa Ampofo (Meridian Agricultural Services); Samuel Asuming-Brempong (Agricultural Economics, University of Ghana); Stephen Awiti- Kuffuor (Independent consultant); Yakubu Balma (University of Development Studies); Dominic Fuachie-Sobreh (Savanna Agricultural Research Institute-CSIR); Emelia Monney (MoFA); John Ofosu-Anim (Crop Science, University of Ghana). The case study could not however have been prepared without the cooperation of many individuals and organizations who we met with over the past six months, including farmers, processors, and private sector companies (Upper East Vegetable Farmers Association and the Irrigation Company of Upper Region (ICOUR), for example).

     The case of tomato in Ghana

Robinson, Elizabeth J. Z.; Kolavalli, Shashi L. 2010
In Ghana, the agricultural sector in general and the tomato sector in particular have not met their potential. In the tomato sector, production seasonality, the dominance of rainfed agriculture, high perishability of the fruits combined with no storage facilities, and poor market access, have resulted in low average yields but seasonal gluts with some farmers unable to sell their tomatoes which are consequently left to rot in their fields. The tomato value chain in Ghana is characterised by a “two level” system in which itinerant traders—the market queens —are the direct link between rural farm producers and urban consumption, rather than by a set of assembly markets which bulk the produce before being sold to urban wholesalers at relay markets. Assembly markets enable inspection, grading, and better price transmission, but the time taken to get the crop from farmgate to consumer is relatively long. The two-level trader system reduces delays of passing through assembly markets, allowing rapid movement of the produce from producer to consumer, important for highly perishable agricultural products such as tomato, but fragments price signals resulting in poor spatial price adjustments (Bell et al.1999; Orchard and Suglo 1999). In a two level system, farmers are distanced from market signals: most wait for the market queens to come to their fields and if these traders do not come, farmers leave the tomatoes to rot in the field in the absence of a local market. Traders allocate a certain number of crates, which determines how much farmers can sell on that particular day and there is little if any room for price-quantity or price-quality negotiations. Signals from consumers with respect to quality, price, and quantities demanded, are not transmitted back along the value chain to the farmers. Though packers may remove the poorest quality fruits, tomatoes of different qualities and even different varieties are not graded but rather simply piled them into over-sized crates.

     The case of tomato in Ghana

Robinson, Elizabeth J. Z.; Kolavalli, Shashidhara 2010
The tomato sector in Ghana has failed to reach its potential, in terms of attaining yields comparable to other countries, in terms of the ability to sustain processing plants, and in terms of improving the livelihoods of those households involved in tomato production and the tomato commodity chain. Despite government interventions that include the establishment of a number of tomato processing factories, tomatoes of the right quality and quantity for commercial agroprocessing are not being grown. Many farmers still prefer to plant local varieties, typically with a high water content, many seeds, poor color, and low brix. Land husbandry practices are often suboptimal. Average yields remain low, typically under ten tons per hectare. Because of production seasonality, high perishability, poor market access, and competition from imports, some farmers are unable to sell their tomatoes, which are left to rot in their fields. Yet other farmers in Ghana have achieved higher tomato yields, production is profitable, and many farmers in Ghana continue to choose to grow tomatoes over other crops.

     The case of tomato in Ghana

Robinson, Elizabeth J. Z.; Kolavalli, Shashi L. 2010
Processing of highly perishable non-storable crops, such as tomato, is typically promoted for two reasons: as a way of absorbing excess supply, particularly during gluts that result from predominantly rainfed cultivation; and to enhance the value chain through a value-added process. For Ghana, improving domestic tomato processing would also reduce the country's dependence on imported tomato paste and so improve foreign exchange reserves, as well as provide employment opportunities and development opportunities in what are poor rural areas of the country. Many reports simply repeat the mantra that processing offers a way of buying up the glut. Yet the reality is that the "tomato gluts," an annual feature of the local press, occur only for a few weeks of the year, and are almost always a result of large volumes of rainfed local varieties unsuitable for processing entering the fresh market at the same time, not the improved varieties that could be used by the processors. For most of the year, the price of tomatoes suitable for processing is above the breakeven price for tomato processors, given the competition from imports. Improved varieties (such as Pectomech) that are suitable for processing are also preferred by consumers and achieve a premium price over the local varieties.

     Operational details of the 2008 fertilizer subsidy in Ghana

Banful, Afua Branoah 2009
"In July 2008, the government of Ghana instituted a country-wide subsidy on 50Kg bags of four types of fertilizer in an effort to mitigate the effect of rising energy and food prices. Farmers received the subsidy in the form of fertilizer- and region-specific vouchers distributed by agricultural extension agents. This descriptive report details the operational design of the subsidy program and offers preliminary observations of its implementation. The fertilizer subsidy was a unique example of a public-private partnership in which thegovernment consulted heavily with fertilizer importers in the design stage and relied exclusively on the existing private distribution system to deliver fertilizer to farmers. While this structure offers clear benefits, initial observations suggest scope for improvement in both the system design and implementation. Poor timing, shortage of fertilizer and a small network of fertilizer retailers participating in the program prevented fertilizer use from increasing as much as was possible within the program budget and may have disadvantaged smaller retailers. Amidst such constraints, less than 50 percent of the vouchers country-wide had been redeemed by the end of the planting seasons." -- from text

     Public expenditure and institutional review

Kolavalli, Shashidhara; Birner, Regina; Benin, Samuel; Horowitz, Leah; Babu Suresh Chandra; Asenso-Okyere, Kwadwo; Thompson, Nii Moi; Poku, John 2009
Agriculture has been the backbone of a Ghanaian economy that has recorded positive per capita GDP growth over the last 20 years. The agriculture sector has grown rapidly at an average annual rate of 5.5 percent in recent years, benefiting from favorable weather conditions and world market prices for cocoa. However, growth patterns have been erratic over a longer period. Agricultural performance has not been uniform within subsectors and regionally: forestry and cocoa subsectors grew at double digit rates, while crops other than cocoa grew at rates ranging from 1.5 to 4.5 percent between 1991 and 2005. The high rate of expansion achieved in recent years may be difficult to sustain, as growth hasbeen led by extensive forces. Land expansion contributed more than yield increases to growth of various crops. Yields of most crops have not increased significantly. The level of adoption of agricultural technologies is also still low in the country. Reaching the productivity targets that the country has set for different crops will require rates of growth in productivity that are far higher than what have been achieved in the past (Breisinger et al. 2008). In leading the sector, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) has revised its Food and Agriculture Sector Development policy (FASDEP) through broad consultation. The policies of the ministry, its financial management, and the organizational capabilities to implement FASDEP II have become more important than ever, as the activities of the Ministry are increasingly financed through budget support. There are concerns that the Ministry may not have the capacity to effectively implement the policies and strategies that have been developed recently, since in the past budget support to the Ministry has not had the envisaged impact. A thorough understanding of the public expenditure environment in the Ministry is needed to develop effective strategies to strengthen its capabilities. Past studies of the Ministry have focused on either expenditure management or organizational issues dealing largely with management of and adjustment to structural changes such as decentralization. They have not considered whether linking expenditures, processes, and outcomes could improve effectiveness. Hence, there is a need to examine the internal processes relating to these two issues. -- from text

     What does liberalization without price competition achieve?

Vigneri, Marcella; Santos, Paulo 2008
"The deregulation of Ghana’s domestic cocoa supply chain that took place in the early 1990s was expected to bring competition among different private buyers and to generate a number of production incentives to the farmers. Most notably, it was expected that competition would emerge by means of price bonuses and/or premiums over the guaranteed price. However, this paper finds that price-based competition mechanisms did not develop in the resulting domestic cocoa value chain. Rather, the now increasing numbers of Licensed Buying Companies compete for cocoa supplies based on the provision of different services to farmers. The availability of a number of outlets offers farmers the option to choose among those that can provide cash as well as credit. The cash payment and credit for inputs offered to attract cocoa sales mainly benefit liquidity-constrained farmers, enabling them to invest in productive inputs. Since cash constrained farmers are likely to be the poorest as measured by simple welfare indicators, liberalization may be seen to have had a progressive impact on Ghana’s cocoa farmers." -- from text

     Identifying opportunities in Ghana’s agriculture

Winter-Nelson, Alex; Aggrey-Fynn, Emmanuel 2008
"Recent increases in cereals prices raise questions about agricultural priorities in Ghana. This report presents an application of the Policy Analysis Matrix (PAM) to the problem of identifying opportunities to enhance agriculture’s contribution to economic growth and poverty alleviation in the country. The PAM is a budget-based method that was applied to study the social and private profitability of six maize production systems and six rice production systems. The results indicate that all twelve of the systems contribute to national economic growth and private income generation among farmers, at least under the high cereals prices that prevailed in 2007. Maize systems show a higher rate of return (lower cost/benefit ratio) than rice systems. If prices returned to lower levels experienced in 2005, however, rice systems would be privately and socially unprofitable. Return to the still lower prices of 2002 would leave both the maize and rice systems unprofitable. The PAM was also used to assess the impact of alternative interventions for increasing profitability in the face of lower output prices. The results suggest that higher adoption of input technologies could make maize profitable under a very wide range of prices. However, fertilizer prices are not likely to be the constraining factor input adoption as the price of fertilizer has little impact on farm profitability given current levels of fertilizer use. Rather, further research is needed to determine how to promote improved maize production technology. For rice systems there appears to be room to enhance profitability through post-farm interventions to reduce processing losses and to improve the quality of locally grown rice. Rice systems would be profitable under very low output prices if Ghana achieved the processing conversion rates and milled rice quality found in other countries." -- from text

     Drivers of change in Ghana's cocoa sector

Vigneri, Marcella 2008
"Using a two year panel dataset, this paper offers an empirical investigation of the unprecedented production boom episode observed in Ghana's cocoa sector between 2002 and 2004. We look at the technology of production underlying the years of the boom, and suggest that most of the rise was due to a more intensive use of household labor, good weather, and to some extent the increased use of fertilizer. The drivers of the recent production boom in Ghana did not, however, alter the more fundamental and long-standing problems of the sector. Cocoa yields in Ghana remain well behind those observed in other producing countries and the key constraint of the sector remains its lack of innovation. Current production technology in the cocoa sector is labor-using and land saving, whereas it is labor that is scarce to the household. This poses more serious concerns about the incentives and policies required to promote and sustain technological innovation in the sector." -- from text

     The role of cocoa in Ghana's future development

Breisinger, Clemens; Diao, Xinshen; Kolavalli, Shashi; Thurlow, James 2008
The recent surge in world commodity prices might alter the role of traditional export crops in African economies. While export crops have traditionally been important sources of foreign exchange earnings and government revenues, Ghana is an exceptional case, where a combination of favorable external conditions and internal reforms have made cocoa the driver of growth and poverty reduction. Cocoa's share of agricultural GDP has been increasing rapidly and existing yield gaps and the prospects of continued high world commodity prices suggest further growth potential. We find that increasing cocoa production by around 60,000 tons per annum is needed to support Ghana reaching its middle-income country target. However, cocoa’s poverty-growth elasticity is low, thus implying that further growth is unlikely to lead to the large reductions in poverty experienced in the past. Finally, we show that, even with complimentary growth in other sectors, cocoa will continue to dominate agricultural exports over the medium term and that structural diversification remains a key challenge for Ghana.

     Decentralization and local public services in Ghana

Akramov, Kamiljon T.; Asante, Felix Ankomah 2008
"This paper explores disparities in local public service provision between decentralized districts in Ghana using district and household level data. The results show that districts' geography plays a major role in shaping disparities in access to local public services in Ghana. The findings also suggest that ethnic diversity has significant negative impact on 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, including drinking water, decreases as average literacy level increases. The paper relates these results to the literature and discusses policy implications." -- from text

     Local impacts of a global crisis

Cudjoe, Godsway; Breisinger, Clemens; Diao, Xinshen 2008
Recent increases in cereals prices raise questions about agricultural priorities in Ghana. This report presents an application of the Policy Analysis Matrix (PAM) to the problem of identifying opportunities to enhance agriculture’s contribution to economic growth and poverty alleviation in the country. The PAM is a budget-based method that was applied to study the social and private profitability of six maize production systems and six rice production systems. The results indicate that all twelve of the systems contribute to national economic growth and private income generation among farmers, at least under the high cereals prices that prevailed in 2007. Maize systems show a higher rate of return (lower cost/benefit ratio) than rice systems. If prices returned to lower levels experienced in 2005, however, rice systems would be privately and socially unprofitable. Return to the still lower prices of 2002 would leave both the maize and rice systems unprofitable. The PAM was also used to assess the impact of alternative interventions for increasing profitability in the face of lower output prices. The results suggest that higher adoption of input technologies could make maize profitable under a very wide range of prices. However, fertilizer prices are not likely to be the constraining factor input adoption as the price of fertilizer has little impact on farm profitability given current levels of fertilizer use. Rather, further research is needed to determine how to promote improved maize production technology. For rice systems there appears to be room to enhance profitability through post-farm interventions to reduce processing losses and to improve the quality of locally grown rice. Rice systems would be profitable under very low output prices if Ghana achieved the processing conversion rates and milled rice quality found in other countries.

     Regional disparities in Ghana

Al-Hassan, Ramatu M.; Diao, Xinshen 2007
"This paper sets out to identify avenues for pro-poor growth in Ghana, focussing on agricultural opportunities, particularly in northern Ghana. Using an economywide, multimarket model and based on time series production data between 1991 and 2000 and Ghana Living Standards Survey data of 1991/92 and 1998/99, this paper analyzes the possible poverty reduction trends up to 2015 by assuming different patterns of growth. The results show that agriculture-led growth has a larger poverty reducing effect than nonagriculture-led growth." -- from Author's Abstract

     Defining smallholder agriculture in Ghana

Chamberlin, Jordan 2007
Smallholders in Ghana, as elsewhere, are widely considered to be the largest as well as the most vulnerable component of the rural sector. Ghana professes national development objectives of reducing rural poverty through the increased productivity and commercialization of smallholder agriculture.... This work uses household survey data, district-level production data and a variety of mapped infrastructural and biophysical data to characterize the production environments and characteristics of smallholder agriculture. This paper explores the relevance of geographically-differentiated characteristics. Several key issues are highlighted: the less prevalent use of inputs, lower commercialization, and lower welfare rates of producers with smaller landholdings.

     Public spending in Ghana

Osei, Robert Darko; Osei-Akoto, Isaac; Quarmine, William; Adiah, George Adayi-Nwoza 2007
"Ghana’s Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS II; November, 2005) which spans the period 2006 – 2009 intends to shift the strategic focus of the country’s development agenda from the direct anti-poverty objectives of the GPRS I to a more growth-oriented strategy. The development agenda of the country, as set out in GPRS II is now geared towards achieving middle income status by 2015. In other words, accelerating economic growth is to be given priority. This growth acceleration is to be complemented by policies aimed at empowering the vulnerable and excluded, so that the poor can share in the benefits of growth.... This paper reviews the trends in public expenditure as well as key development outcomes over the last 10 years (1995 – 2005)." -- from Authors' Abstract

     Reaching middle-income status in Ghana by 2015

Benin, Samuel; Randriamamonjy, Josee 2007
"The Government of Ghana has identified accelerated growth in agriculture as the source of its overall Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS II) and reaching middle-income status by 2015. Using data from the recent Ghana Living Standards Survey (GLSSV) to estimate the determinants of (i) adoption and intensity of adoption of purchased inputs, (ii) crop productivity, and (iii) agriculture income per capita, this paper analyzes the constraints and opportunities for raising agriculture production in order the above challenge... In general, increased investment in agriculture research that leads to the development of profitable technologies in local environments, increased investment in extension and other training programs to promote proper use of improved seeds, and improving the availability of improved seeds and helping farmers to acquire purchased inputs will be critical." -- from Authors' Abstract

     Cost implications of agricultural land degradation in Ghana

Diao, Xinshen; Sarpong, Daniel Bruce 2007
"An economywide, multimarket model is constructed for Ghana and the effects of agricultural soil erosion on crop yields are explicitly modeled at the subnational regional level for eight main staple crops. The model is used to evaluate the aggregate economic costs of soil erosion by taking into account economywide linkages between production and consumption, across sectors and agricultural subsectors... Sustainable land management (SLM) is the key to reducing agricultural soil loss. The present findings indicate that through the adoption of conventional SLM practices, the declining trend in land productivity can be reversed, and that use of a combination of conventional and modern SLM practices would generate an aggregate economic benefit of US$6.4 billion over the period 2006–2015. SLM practices would therefore significantly reduce poverty in Ghana, particularly in the three northern regions." -- from Authors' Abstract

     Linking smallholders to markets

Al-Hassan, Ramatu M.; Sarpong, Daniel Bruce; Mensah-Bonsu, Akwasi; Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness, University of Ghana, Legon 2007
"Access to guaranteed markets for produce and for the acquisition of inputs is a major problem confronting smallholders... The questions addressed by this research are: (a) how can agricultural contracts be enforced in the face of Ghana’s weak legal system; (b) what approaches can be used to certify smallholders for international markets, and (c) what policies are needed to provide infrastructure for export crop development." -- from Author's Abstract

     Linking research and policy

deGrassi, Aaron 2007
Agricultural trade policies, in particular import tariffs to protect domestic production, constitute a highly contested field of agricultural policy. In view of the recent focus on “evidence-based policy making” in the international development debate, the question arises as to which extent research-based evidence is used in such policy decisions, and which role research plays as compared to other political factors. Against this background, this paper seeks to examine and explain research-policy linkages in the case of rice tariff reform in Ghana. It is based on literature reviews and 70 interviews. The paper uses a historical cultural political economy approach, and reveals that in order to understand the actions of Ghana’s policy makers, there is a need to go beyond currently used approaches to understanding politics in order to reveal the complex factors that underlie such policy decisions. The paper starts by locating the study in the framework of the recent interest of the international development community in agriculture on the one hand, and in evidence-based policy-making on the other. The paper then reviews the recent literature on then links between research and policy making. After briefly describing the study’s conceptual framework and methodology, the paper gives an overview of Ghana’s governance, political dynamics, socio-economic trends, agricultural policies, which provide the setting for research-policy linkages. The presentation of the findings of the study starts with a general description of the links between research and policy that have been observed in agricultural policy-making in Ghana. In order to discover the underlying factors in linking research and policy requires examining particular conceptual lenses (“discourses”) in Ghana, as well the intricate politics of elections, nationalism, external pressure, and rifts with civic campaigners. To see whether or not the nature of linkages is unique to the rice sector, the report also contrasts the case of rice with on the case of agricultural mechanization.

     Does training strengthen capacity?

Babu, Suresh Chandra; Mensah, Raymond; Kolavalli, Shashi L. 2007
Developing countries, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa, continue to face insurmountable challenges in building and sustaining capacity for development... This paper reports on a preliminary exercise to examine training and its contribution to developing capacity in the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, as an input to developing a larger research and development agenda to strengthen the capacity of the ministry to effectively implement its strategies. The paper is structured as follows. A brief review of relevant issues is presented first. Then section, the authors describe how the study was done and offer the findings, followed by some implications for developing a strategic framework for capacity development in the last section.

     Public spending at the district level in Ghana

Osei-Akoto, Isaac; Osei, Robert Darko; Quarmine, William; Adiah, George Adayi-Nwoza 2007
Public spending may influence poverty alleviation objectives at several levels including overall spending plans of government (aggregate fiscal policy), policy decisions funded in the budget and the flow of budgeted resources to Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs); frontline service delivery institutions whose activities directly impact the development outcomes. As a starting point for analysis of the returns of public spending at the district level, this short report attempts to review the trends in financial inflows and outlays from District Assemblies (DAs) and link them to key development outcomes over the period spanning 1994 to 2004... It is important to note that this report is mainly descriptive and intended to provide preliminary explanation of the relationship between public expenditures and district level development outcomes.

     Accelerated growth and structural transformation

Breisinger, Clemens; Diao, Xinshen; Thurlow, James; Yu, Bingxin; Kolavalli, Shashidhara 2007
Ghana has made considerable progress over the last 20 years in sustaining economic growth and reducing poverty. The Government of Ghana has declared its new development goal of reaching middle-income status by 2015. Achieving this goal will require Ghana to double its per capita income over the next decade. In this paper we explore the growth experiences of other developing countries that have successfully transformed their economies from situations similar to Ghana’s today. Based on the past experiences of these fast growing countries, and using a dynamic general equilibrium model developed for Ghana, we evaluate sources of accelerated growth and their contributions to overall growth and transformation... The authors conclude that, for Ghana to reach middle-income status it will require careful coordination between increasingly complex macroeconomic, industrial and financial market policies, which also require the improvement of institutional capacity of the government to implement such complex policies.

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