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Roaming through the Maze of Maize in Northern Ghana. A Systems Approach to Explore the Long-Term Effects of a Food Security Intervention

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  • Ellen Mangnus

    () (Department of Human Geography & Spatial Planning, Utrecht University, 3508 TC Utrecht, The Netherlands)

  • A.C.M. (Guus) Van Westen

    () (Department of Human Geography & Spatial Planning, Utrecht University, 3508 TC Utrecht, The Netherlands)

Abstract

Central to food security interventions in Sub-Saharan Africa stands the value chain approach. The underlying idea is that connecting farmers to input and output markets and sources of knowledge and technology will enhance their food security status. In spite of positive impacts measured in especially food supply, there is scant evidence of the long-term effects on food security. For a better grasp of the impacts of a maize value chain intervention in North Ghana, we have experimented with an approach that focuses on interactions and feedback loops between the value chain and its local context. Such approach allowed us to identify dynamics that affect food security in the long run. In the case of Northern Ghana farming systems, household income and diets are increasingly dependent on maize, which increases risk of food insecurity in case of climate setbacks or market shocks. The exercise reveals how a linear value chain approach obscures the dynamic effects cascading from the intervention that may actually hamper food security in the long run. A systems approach may help to better grasp the consequences of external interventions at the local level.

Suggested Citation

  • Ellen Mangnus & A.C.M. (Guus) Van Westen, 2018. "Roaming through the Maze of Maize in Northern Ghana. A Systems Approach to Explore the Long-Term Effects of a Food Security Intervention," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(10), pages 1-19, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:10:p:3605-:d:174579
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. James Wangu & Ellen Mangnus & A.C.M. (Guus) van Westen, 2020. "Limitations of Inclusive Agribusiness in Contributing to Food and Nutrition Security in a Smallholder Community. A Case of Mango Initiative in Makueni County, Kenya," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(14), pages 1-1, July.
    2. Annelies (E.B.) Zoomers, 2018. "Development at the Crossroads of Capital Flows and Migration: Leaving No One Behind?," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(12), pages 1-10, December.
    3. Mwambo, Francis Molua & Fürst, Christine & Nyarko, Benjamin K. & Borgemeister, Christian & Martius, Christopher, 2020. "Maize production and environmental costs: Resource evaluation and strategic land use planning for food security in northern Ghana by means of coupled emergy and data envelopment analysis," Land Use Policy, Elsevier, vol. 95(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    value chain analysis; systems approach; private sector led development; food security; causal loop diagram;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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