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The renewed case for farmers' cooperatives: Diagnostics and implications from Ghana

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  • Francesconi, Gian Nicola
  • Wouterse, Fleur

Abstract

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

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in its series IFPRI discussion papers with number 1129.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:fpr:ifprid:1129

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Keywords: Collective action; Cooperatives; econometrics; games;

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References

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  1. Gian Nicola Francesconi & Nico Heerink, 2011. "Ethiopian Agricultural Cooperatives in an Era of Global Commodity Exchange: Does Organisational Form Matter?," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 20(1), pages 153-177, January.
  2. Stelios Michalopoulos & Elias Papaioannou, 2011. "Divide and Rule or the Rule of the Divided? Evidence from Africa," NBER Working Papers 17184, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Yamauchi, Futoshi, 2011. "Prenatal seasonality, child growth, and schooling investments: Evidence from rural Indonesia," IFPRI discussion papers 1108, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  4. Kugler, Tamar & Bornstein, Gary & Kocher, Martin G. & Sutter, Matthias, 2007. "Trust between individuals and groups: Groups are less trusting than individuals but just as trustworthy," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 646-657, December.
  5. Kostas Karantininis & Angelo Zago, 2001. "Endogenous Membership in Mixed Duopsonies," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1266-1272.
  6. Salifu, Adam & Francesconi, Gian Nicola & Kolavalli, Shashidhara, 2010. "A review of collective action in rural Ghana," IFPRI discussion papers 998, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  7. Tanguy Bernard & Alemayehu Seyoum Taffesse & Eleni Gabre-Madhin, 2008. "Impact of cooperatives on smallholders' commercialization behavior: evidence from Ethiopia," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 39(2), pages 147-161, 09.
  8. Onumah, Gideon & Davis, Junior & Kleih, Ulrich & Proctor, Felicity, 2007. "Empowering Smallholder Farmers in Markets: Changing agricultural marketing systems and innovative responses by producer organizations," MPRA Paper 25984, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Bernard, Tanguy & Spielman, David J., 2009. "Reaching the rural poor through rural producer organizations? A study of agricultural marketing cooperatives in Ethiopia," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 60-69, February.
  10. Michael E. Sykuta & Michael L. Cook, 2001. "A New Institutional Economics Approach to Contracts and Cooperatives," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1273-1279.
  11. Alexander E. Saak, 2012. "Collective Reputation, Social Norms, and Participation," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 94(3), pages 763-785.
  12. Hoff, Karla & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1990. "Imperfect Information and Rural Credit Markets--Puzzles and Policy Perspectives," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 4(3), pages 235-50, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Morley, Samuel & Piñeiro, Valeria & Robinson, Sherman, 2011. "A dynamic computable general equilibrium model with working capital for Honduras:," IFPRI discussion papers 1130, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  2. Takeshima, Hiroyuki & Salau, Sheu, 2011. "How does ownership of farm implements affect investment in other farm implements when farmers' liquidity constraint is relaxed?: Insights from Nigeria," IFPRI discussion papers 1133, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  3. Yu, Bingxin & Nin-Pratt, Alejandro & Funes, José & Gemessa, Sinafikeh Asrat, 2011. "Cereal production and technology adoption in Ethiopia:," IFPRI discussion papers 1131, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  4. Morley, Samuel & Piñeiro, Valeria & Robinson, Sherman, 2011. "External shocks and policy alternatives in small open economies: The case of El Salvador," IFPRI discussion papers 1134, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

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