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Mechanization in Ghana: Emerging demand, and the search for alternative supply models

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  • Diao, Xinshen
  • Cossar, Frances
  • Houssou, Nazaire
  • Kolavalli, Shashidhara

Abstract

Influential studies in the 1980s and early 1990s drew on the Boserup–Ruthenberg theories of farming systems evolution to argue that African countries were not yet ready for widespread agricultural mechanization. Through applying the theories of farming systems evolution and of induced innovation in technical change, this paper shows that demand for certain mechanized farming operations particularly plowing has emerged even among smallholders, suggesting that supply issues may now be the main constraint to successful mechanization. We therefore adopt a supply chain approach to analyze two types of mechanization practices in Ghana, i.e., a recent state-led mechanization program and the private sector-led service hiring market, against an international perspective by drawing on three Asian supply models. We identify two major flaws in existing policies. First, the agricultural mechanization service centers that the government promotes fail to use tractors services with sufficient intensity. Second, direct importation of agricultural machinery by the government inhibits imports of appropriate and affordable machinery. In contrast, the development of mechanized service hiring market in which medium and large scale farmers who are tractor owners provide hiring-out services to small-scale farmers represents a promising model for sustainable mechanization in Ghana. This private sector-led second model is consistent with international experiences.

Suggested Citation

  • Diao, Xinshen & Cossar, Frances & Houssou, Nazaire & Kolavalli, Shashidhara, 2014. "Mechanization in Ghana: Emerging demand, and the search for alternative supply models," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 168-181.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfpoli:v:48:y:2014:i:c:p:168-181
    DOI: 10.1016/j.foodpol.2014.05.013
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:spr:agrhuv:v:35:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s10460-017-9788-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Cossar, Frances, 2016. "Boserupian pressure and agricultural mechanization in modern Ghana:," IFPRI discussion papers 1528, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    3. Cabral, Lídia & Favareto, Arilson & Mukwereza, Langton & Amanor, Kojo, 2016. "Brazil’s Agricultural Politics in Africa: More Food International and the Disputed Meanings of “Family Farming”," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 47-60.
    4. Mockshell, Jonathan & Birner, Regina, 2015. "Donors and domestic policy makers: Two worlds in agricultural policy-making?," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 1-14.
    5. Diao, Xinshen & Silver, Jed & Takeshima, Hiroyuki, 2016. "Agricultural mechanization and agricultural transformation:," IFPRI discussion papers 1527, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    6. Houssou, Nazaire & Aboagye, Patrick Ohene & Kolavalli, Shashidhara, 2016. "Meeting Ghanaian farmers' demand for a full range of mechanization services:," GSSP policy notes 9, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    7. repec:eee:enepol:v:113:y:2018:i:c:p:584-607 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. repec:eee:jfpoli:v:77:y:2018:i:c:p:33-49 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. repec:spr:ssefpa:v:9:y:2017:i:5:d:10.1007_s12571-017-0716-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:4:p:1042-:d:139076 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Jayne, T. S. & Holtzman, John S. & Yeboah, Felix Kwame & Anderson, Jock R. & Oehmke, James F., 2016. "Agri-Food Systems and Youth Livelihoods in Sub-Saharan Africa," Food Security International Development Working Papers 249276, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    12. Nazaire Houssou & Michael Johnson & Shashidhara Kolavalli & Collins Asante-Addo, 2018. "Changes in Ghanaian farming systems: stagnation or a quiet transformation?," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 35(1), pages 41-66, March.
    13. Houssou, Nazaire & Diao, Xinshen & Kolavalli, Shashidhara, 2014. "Economics of tractor ownership under rainfed agriculture with applications in Ghana:," IFPRI discussion papers 1387, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    14. Bachewe, Fantu Nisrane & Berhane, Guush & Minten, Bart & Taffesse, Alemayehu Seyoum, 2016. "Non-farm income and labor markets in rural Ethiopia," ESSP working papers 90, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    15. Takeshima, Hiroyuki & Adhikari, Rajendra Prasad & Kumar, Anjani, 2016. "Is access to tractor service a binding constraint for Nepali Terai farmers? :," IFPRI discussion papers 1508, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    16. Houssou, Nazaire & Chapoto, Anthony, 2015. "Adoption of Farm Mechanization, Cropland Expansion, and Intensification in Ghana," 2015 Conference, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy 211744, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    17. Houssou, Nazaire & Chapoto, Anthony & Asante-Addo, Collins, 2016. "Farm transition and indigenous growth: The rise to medium- and large-scale farming in Ghana:," IFPRI discussion papers 1499, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    18. Houssou, Nazaire & Chapoto, Antony, 2014. "The changing landscape of agriculture in Ghana: Drivers of farm mechanization and its impacts on cropland expansion and intensification:," IFPRI discussion papers 1392, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    19. Houssou, Nazaire & Diao, Xinshen & Kolavalli, Shashi, 2014. "Can the private sector lead agricultural mechanization in Ghana?:," GSSP policy notes 4, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    20. Houssou, Nazaire & Kolavalli, Shashidhara & Silver, Jed, 2016. "Agricultural intensification, technology adoption, and institutions in Ghana:," GSSP policy notes 10, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

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