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n°78 : Ghana, an agricultural exception in West Africa ?

n°78 : Ghana, an agricultural exception in West Africa ?

published 31 March 2020, 25 articles

As an English-speaking country that enjoys political stability and favourable conditions (particularly economic), and that has made great strides in its democratic governance, Ghana appears at first glance to be the exception in West Africa. In addition to attracting investors, the country is a driving force for regional integration.

But what about the country’s model for agricultural development, often referred to as liberal? What policy programmes are guiding its trajectory? How are Ghana’s agricultural sectors organised, and who are the key players? What challenges do they face?

This special edition features articles by a wide variety of contributors with different points of view, and explores the paradox of an emerging country that still has major structural weaknesses. Ghana’s agricultural sector is considered to be a driver of economic growth. Relying heavily on export crops, such as cocoa, the sector is guided by the government’s liberal vision, which places great emphasis on the private sector. But despite Ghana’s “success”, the country still faces a number of challenges, such as prevalence of hunger (5.5%), low agricultural productivity and degradation of natural resources.

This issue of Grain de Sel also has a new layout, and now features a “Portrait” section with articles on different actors.

The magazine is also available in French and with an interactive Flipbook version

Feel free to send feedback or comments to [email protected]

We hope you enjoy this edition of the magazine!

The Inter-réseaux team

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François Doligez, Ninon Avezou

For those of you familiar with the history of the African independence movements, Ghana was the third sub-Saharan country to gain its independence—in 1957, after Liberia (1847) and Sudan (1956)—following boycotts and civil disobedience driven by Kwame Nkrumah. Ghana has a distinct profile in West Africa, having been a pioneer in the Pan-Africanism movement and having helped spearhead the Tricontinental Conference, which voiced the first demands for a more equal multilateralism.
As an...

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The purpose of this introductory section is to provide a general understanding of Ghana’s geographical, economic, agricultural and political situation in the form of graphics. We have integrated the equivalent benchmarks of its neighbouring country, Côte d’Ivoire, whose development trajectory (economic and political) is markedly opposite.
Go to the graphics : Here

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Pierre Jacquemot

Considered by many observers to be a “model” African nation, Ghana has established a
peaceful and mature democracy while keeping its traditions alive. The country is using
its current momentum to overcome the challenges of inclusive development, but remains
burdened by inequality and food insecurity.
Read the whole analysis : Here

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John Asafu-Adjaye

Ghana’s Agricultural and Economic Transformation: Past Performance
and Future Prospects questions the development path of Africa and
opportunities for agriculture using Ghana as a case study. This note gives
an insight of the key findings of the book and points out some blind spots
such as climate change impact.
Read the whole article review : Here

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Olivier Édouard Kabré

Ghana has its own national currency, the Ghanaian cedi. But borrowing US dollars on the
international market has exposed the country to foreign-exchange risk. Burkinabe
entrepreneur Olivier Édouard Kabré experienced this first-hand, when he sought to pursue
market opportunities in Ghana—and then had to back-pedal.
Read the whole testimony : Here

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Internal growth and economic independence: those are the ambitious objectives of the
Ghana Beyond Aid (GhBA) policy, announced in 2017 by President Nana Addo Dankwa
Akufo-Addo. It’s a strong initiative that is creating a lot of hope while also raising questions
as to its feasibility.
Read the whole analysis : Here

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Ziad Hamoui

With a rounded combination of thriving democracy, stable economy, good legislation and
attractive investment incentives, Ghana has managed to cement its position as a driver
for regional economic integration. Yet, can Ghana provide a strong enough leadership to
resolve the remaining challenges?
Read the whole analysis : Here

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Félix Amakye, Nicholas Awortwi

Ghana is experiencing rapid urbanisation and
commercialisation of lands at the expense of agricultural
development. This changing phenomenon requires
appropriate land use planning that is currently associated
with traditional authorities and local governments.
Read the whole analysis : Here

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Kido Kouassi, Michael Owusu, Patrice Annequin

In 2008, Ghana reintroduced its input subsidy programmes, which were designed as tools to
help develop agricultural value chains. The programmes primarily aimed at enhancing
small farmers access to farm inputs for food-crop production. Despite adjustments to
improve the effectiveness of the subsidies, there are questions as to their impact.
Read the whole analysis : Here

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Kwaw Andam

Ghana’s input subsidy programs are very ambitious in scale
and scope, which justifies a thorough evaluation. On the
ground of a IFPRI-led study, Kwaw Andam highlights here
some of the questions raised such as the targeting and the
long term effects of such a programme.
Read the whole counterpoint : Here

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Clifford Amoah Adagenera

Ghana’s vision for agriculture is based on the use of hybrid seeds and the application of
chemical fertilisers. In order to make agriculture sustainable, the National Coordinator for
the Ghana National Sesame Business Farmers Association advocates for the implementation
of agroecology in the sesame value chain.
Read the whole interview : Here

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Worlali Senyo

In 2017, Ghana was ranked first in West Africa in terms of
Information Communication Technology. When it comes to
the cocoa sector, ICTs appear as a solution to improve
earnings to farmers, to reduce child labour and to prevent
Read the whole analysis : Here

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Emmanuel Kwesi Boon, Samuel Weniga Anuga

From “Nnoboa”, a traditional form of cooperation in Ghana
to the current Peasant Organisations (PO), the paper facilitate
the understanding of the history, role and importance
of peasant farming in Ghana as well as the challenges it is
confronted with. It is illustrated by a focus on Rice POs in
the Kesena-Nakana District.
Read the whole analysis : Here

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Margareta Amy Lelea

In Northern Ghana, parboiling rice is one of the most
common processing activities women undertake. In focus
group discussions, women express themselves about their
hopes and difficulties while women’s small-scale agri-food
enterprises are often de-valued in the push for a
“modernization-oriented development”.
Read the whole testimony : Here

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François Ruf

The cocoa sector and cocoa growers face challenges such
as overproduction and falling prices on the global market.
The world’s top cocoa producers, Ghana and Ivory Coast,
are used to competing with one another. But now they are
teaming up to address these issues. Will the alliance last ?
Read the whole interview : Here

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Richard Asare

In Ghana, cocoa contributes substantially to the agricultural foreign earnings and plays a
major role in providing income for millions of farmers and households. But its production
has environmental impacts, like deforestation. Creating a policy environment that supports
sustainable practices in agriculture to leverage the cocoa forests for biodiversity
conservation is essential.
Read the whole analysis :...

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Isaac Bosomtwe, Simon Tetteh

While rubber is not an important sector in terms of volume
in Ghana, it is a good example of private firm’s involvement
in agriculture. Representative of two major players of a
contractual scheme, a leader of the producers association
and a staff of the agribusiness firm, explain the tripartite
model set up to structure the rubber value chain.
Read the whole interview :...

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Evans Sackey Teye

Ghana is willing to increase its domestic production of rice to
meet the growing demand and achieve its self-sufficiency.
But the preference for imported rice and a weak ECOWAS
Common External tariff hinders the development of the sector.
Read the whole analysis : Here

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Abu Huudu, Lucien Rossignol

This article presents a development model for a food-production sector in Ghana.
Players in the private sector, such as Guinness Ghana, appear to be playing a big role
in structuring the value chain for sorghum. What questions does this situation raise?
Read the whole analysis : Here

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Jean-Luc François

In Ghana, cotton is referred to as the “cocoa of the north”.
And yet the cotton sector’s performance has been anything
but successful. By examining the recent history
of the sector in Ghana and comparing it with Burkina Faso,
this article review aims to provide a few keys
for understanding the country’s subpar performance.
This article review is based
on two articles available online:
“The state of Cotton Production
in Northern Ghana”,
by Benjamin K. Asinyo, Charles Frimpong,

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Steve Trent

Ghana is known as a fishing nation but its marine fisheries are in steep
decline with heavy consequences on food security and livelihood.
Illegal fishing practices related mainly to Chinese operators worsen
the situation.
Steve Trent and the EJF plead for an effective enforcement of the law
by the Ghanaian government.
Read the whole interview : Here

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Marc Oswald

For many, Ghana had succeeded in terms of developing
its fish-farming industry. International capital was invested
in tilapia cage farming, taking advantage of the favourable
conditions of Lake Volta. But despite the authorities’
goodwill, the market has been saturated by insufficiently
integrated production. Other challenges (such as disease)
are also offsetting the advantages offered by this resource.
Read the whole analysis :...

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Anaëlle Tanquerey-Cado, King David Amoah, Manson Nwafor, Michael Owusu

Ghana is of particular importance in West Africa
because of its population, economic weight and
agricultural sector, which is an engine of economic
growth and driven by export crops.
Often set up as a democratic and liberal model,
is it an exception in West Africa?
Read the whole interview : Here

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Although Ghana, an English-speaking country in West Africa, is not a typical area of focus for Inter-réseaux, we decided to take an in-depth look at the country in this edition of the magazine. This issue was put together in close collaboration with our members, some of whom are directly active in Ghana.
Agronomes et Vétérinaires Sans Frontières (AVSF) is an NGO that has been working in Ghana since 2016, particularly to carry out sub-regional projects on the sustainability of supply chains...

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Gladys Adusah Serwaa

My name is Gladys Adusah Serwaa, a Ghanaian by birth, and the eldest child among five siblings, from Techiman in the Bono Region of Ghana. I am a 61 year-old farmer who is into cassava, maize, and cashew production. I also possess a Bachelor of Education and a Master’s degree in Democratic Governance, Law and Development with 13 years of working experience as a teacher and 14 years in the development sector.
Currently, I am a national women’s leader for the Ecumenical Association for...

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