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  • Agronomic performance of open pollinated and hybrid maize varieties: Results from on-farm trials in northern Ghana
    Van Asselt, Joanna; DI Battista, Federica; Kolavalli, Shashidhara; Udry, Christopher R.. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2018
    Abstract | Full Text
    Maize is an important staple crop in Ghana, but maize productivity is low. Other countries with similar agroecological conditions have increased maize productivity by increasing the use of maize hybrids. This paper presents the results of maize trials in northern Ghana, in which hybrids were tested to see if they performed significantly better than the varieties planted by farmers. This paper details the procedures of the maize trials and presents descriptive statistics of the trial results. The trials demonstrated that two foreign hybrids performed consistently better than Obaatanpa, the most widely used variety in the north. The foreign hybrids performed consistently well in all districts and appear to be well-suited for planting in northern Ghana.
  • Performance and adoption factors for open pollinated and hybrid maize varieties: Evidence from farmers’ fields in northern Ghana
    Van Asselt, Joanna; DI Battista, Federica; Kolavalli, Shashidhara; Udry, Christopher R.; Baker, Nate. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2018
    Abstract | Full Text
    Maize is the most widely grown starch in Ghana, and yet domestic supply does not meet demand, because maize productivity is low. Trials were performed in northern Ghana in 2015 to determine whether hybrid varieties would outperform the varieties planted by farmers and, therefore, increase maize productivity. Two foreign hybrids performed consistently better then Obaatanpa, the most widely used variety in the north. In 2016, Adikanfo, the best performing hybrid, and certified Obaatanpa were made available for purchase at subsidized rates in the communities where the 2015 trials had been conducted. A survey was then carried out to study whether the trials had any effect on technology uptake or behavioral change among farmers in the region and if the varieties performed as well on the farmers’ fields as in the trials. This paper presents the descriptive results of the survey.
  • Identifying priority value chains in Ghana
    Hartley, Faaiqa; Arndt, Channing. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2018
    Abstract | Full Text
    This working paper identifies agricultural activities and value chains in Ghana whose expansion is most effective at generating economic growth, reducing national and rural poverty, creating jobs, and improving nutrition by diversifying diets. The Rural Investment and Policy Analysis (RIAPA) model of the Ghanaian economy is used to estimate how increasing production in different agricultural sectors leads to changes in national and household outcomes.1 RIAPA captures linkages between sectors and rural-urban economies, as well as changes throughout the agriculture-food system (AFS).
  • Flood recession agriculture for food security in Northern Ghana: Literature review on extent, challenges, and opportunities
    Sidibe, Yoro; Williams, Timothy O.; Kolavalli, Shashidhara. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2016
    Abstract | Full Text
    This review describes a range of physical and socio-economic scientific methods and field activities that will be implemented in a proposed research project to develop a better understanding of the extent and patterns of flooding and the potential of flood-recession agriculture. These activities will allow the hydrological characteristics of the river to be matched to crop-livestock systems of flood recession agriculture that are well suited to the study communities and their organizational and institutional frameworks in order to support sustainable growth of such systems. This detailed study will provide recommendations on the technical, economic, institutional and policy measures needed to achieve sustainable intensification of flood recession agriculture in northern Ghana, while complementing efforts undertaken to promote other types of water management systems. Options for out-scaling of flood recession agriculture beyond the study area to other suitable areas will also be explored. The expectation is that the proposed project will improve food security by enhancing knowledge on effective flood recession practices, enhance rural incomes through expanded dry-season farming with new opportunities for rural employment, and improve adaptation to climate change by building more resilient farming communities. To achieve these expected outcomes, proactive policies that clearly identify flood recession agriculture as an alternative farming practice and provide institutional mandates to irrigation support services to promote it through training, demonstration, and outreach programs will be equally valuable.
  • Development of agricultural mechanization in Ghana: Network, actors, and institutions
    Cossar, Frances; Houssou, Nazaire; Asante-Addo, Collins. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2016
    Abstract | Full Text
    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.
  • 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. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2015
    Abstract | Full Text
    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.
  • 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. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2015
    Abstract | Full Text
    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.
  • Hybrid maize seed supply in Ghana
    Tripp, Robert; Ragasa, Catherine. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2015
    Abstract | Full Text
    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.
  • 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. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2014
    Abstract | Full Text
    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.
  • 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. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2014
    Abstract | Full Text
    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's commercial seed sector: New incentives or continued complacency?
    Tripp, Robert; Mensah-Bonsu, Akwesi. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2013
    Abstract | Full Text
    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.
  • Aflatoxin control strategies in the groundnut value chain in Ghana
    Florkowski, Wojciech J.; Kolavalli, Shashidhara. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2013
    Abstract | Full Text
    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.
  • Animal traction in Ghana
    Houssou, Nazaire; Kolavalli, Shashidhara; Bobobee, Emmanuel; Owusu, Victor. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2013
    Abstract | Full Text
    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 rice technologies in Ghana
    Ragasa, Catherine; Dankyi, Awere; Acheampong, Patricia; Wiredu, Alexander Nimo; Chapoto, Antony; Asamoah, Marian; Tripp, Robert. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2013
    Abstract | Full Text
    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.
  • Patterns of adoption of improved maize technologies in Ghana
    Ragasa, Catherine; Dankyi, Awere; Acheampong, Patricia; Wiredu, Alexander Nimo; Chapoto, Antony; Asamoah, Marian; Tripp, Robert. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2013
    Abstract | Full Text
    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.
  • Agricultural mechanization in Ghana
    Houssou, Nazaire; Diao, Xinshen; Cossar, Frances; Kolavalli, Shashidhara; Jimah, Kipo; Aboagye, Patrick Ohene. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2013
    Abstract | Full Text
    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.
  • 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. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2012
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  • Farmer based organizations in Ghana
    Salifu, Adam; Funk, Rebecca Lee; Keefe, Meagan; Kolavalli, Shashidhara. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2012
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  • Analyzing profitability of maize, rice, and soybean production in Ghana
    Akramov, Kamiljon T.; Malek, Mehrab. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2012
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  • Assessing crop production and input use patterns in Ghana
    Quiñones, Esteban J.; Diao, Xinshen. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2011
    Abstract | Full Text
    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.

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