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publié dans Revue Grain de sel le 17 mars 2020

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

Agro-écologieCacaoCotonGenreHévéaIntrantsRizTICCôte d’IvoireGhana

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

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We hope you enjoy this edition of the magazine!

The Inter-réseaux team

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Grain de Sel is a half-yearly magazine published by Inter-réseaux Développement Rural. Each issue focuses on a specific topic in order to encourage discussion and debate between a wide variety of people with different points of view. More than 5,000 paper copies are distributed, and a digital version is emailed to more than 10,000 subscribers. Click here to subscribe!

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Editorial : Is Ghana’s agricultural development trajectory really so different from that of its neighbours?
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 English-speaking country that has also…

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Markers : Ghana and Ivory Coast: false twins?

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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Ghana: a political and agricultural history
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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Ghana’s Agricultural and Economic Transformation: Past Performance and Future Prospects
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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How the Ghanaian cedi brought my company to its knees
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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Outlook for Ghana Beyond Aid

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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Driving regional integration: can Ghana overcome the Nigerian hurdle?
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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Land Use Planning and Agricultural Development in Rural Ghana
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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Ghana: pioneering “smart” input subsidy programmes
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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Ghana’s input subsidy programs: Awaiting the verdict
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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Agroecology in Ghana, the sesame sector as an opportunity
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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ICTs sector: a driver for rural and agricultural development in Ghana?
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 deforestation. Read the whole analysis : Here

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Peasant organisations in Ghana: major players of sustainable development
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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Stories from Northern Ghana: women in agri-food processing
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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Ghana and Ivory Coast: long-term alliance to support cocoa growers?
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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The nexus between cocoa production and deforestation
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 : Here

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When a firm, farmers and a bank join forces in the rubber sector
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 : Here

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Rice: the challenge of self-sufficiency
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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Guinness Ghana’s role in structuring the sorghum sector
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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Cotton: Ghana’s subpar performance
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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The scourge of saiko: illegal fishing in Ghana
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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What’s next for tilapia farming in Ghana?
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 : Here

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Cross perspective: is Ghana a model or counter-model for West Africa?
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? Why? Read the whole interview : Here

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Member’s corner

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…

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Portrait – Gladys Adusah Serwaa
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…

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