IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/spr/agrhuv/v35y2018i1d10.1007_s10460-017-9788-6.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Changes in Ghanaian farming systems: stagnation or a quiet transformation?

Author

Listed:
  • Nazaire Houssou

    () (International Food Policy Research Institute, CSIR Campus)

  • Michael Johnson

    () (Care International)

  • Shashidhara Kolavalli

    () (International Food Policy Research Institute, CSIR Campus)

  • Collins Asante-Addo

    () (Johann Heinrich von Thünen Institute)

Abstract

This research was designed to understand better the patterns of agricultural intensification and transformation occurring in Africa south of the Sahara using the Ghanaian case. The paper examines changes in farming systems and the role of various endogenous and exogenous factors in driving the conversion of arable lands to agricultural uses in four villages within two agro-ecologically distinct zones of Ghana: the Guinea Savannah and Transition zones. Using historical narratives and land-cover maps supplemented with quantitative data at regional levels, the research shows that farming has intensified in the villages, as farmers increased their farm size in response to factors such as population growth, market access, and changing rural lifestyle. The overall trend suggests a gradual move toward intensification through increasing use of labor-saving technologies rather than land-saving inputs—a pattern that contrasts with Asia’s path to its Green Revolution. The findings in this paper provide evidence of the dynamism occurring in African farming systems; hence, they point toward a departure from stagnation narratives that have come to prevail in the debate on agricultural transformation and intensification in Africa south of the Sahara. We conclude that it is essential for future research to expand the scope of this work, while policies should focus on lessons learned from these historical processes of genuine change and adaptation.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:agrhuv:v:35:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s10460-017-9788-6
    DOI: 10.1007/s10460-017-9788-6
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s10460-017-9788-6
    File Function: Abstract
    Download Restriction: Access to the full text of the articles in this series is restricted.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Agnes Andersson Djurfeldt & G�ran Djurfeldt, 2013. "Structural Transformation and African Smallholders: Drivers of Mobility within and between the Farm and Non-farm Sectors for Eight Countries," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(3), pages 281-306, September.
    2. Headey, Derek & Dereje, Mekdim & Taffesse, Alemayehu Seyoum, 2014. "Land constraints and agricultural intensification in Ethiopia: A village-level analysis of high-potential areas," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 129-141.
    3. Hazell, Peter & Poulton, Colin & Wiggins, Steve & Dorward, Andrew, 2010. "The Future of Small Farms: Trajectories and Policy Priorities," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(10), pages 1349-1361, October.
    4. Ruttan, Vernon W., 1987. "Induced innovation and agricultural development," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 196-216, August.
    5. Lorenzo Cotula & Carlos Oya & Emmanuel A. Codjoe & Abdurehman Eid & Mark Kakraba-Ampeh & James Keeley & Admasu Lokaley Kidewa & Melissa Makwarimba & Wondwosen Michago Seide & William Ole Nasha & Richa, 2014. "Testing Claims about Large Land Deals in Africa: Findings from a Multi-Country Study," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 50(7), pages 903-925, July.
    6. Takeshima, Hiroyuki & Jimah, Kipo & Kolavalli, Shashidhara & Diao, Xinshen & Funk, Rebecca Lee, 2013. "Dynamics of transformation: Insights from an exploratory review of rice farming in the Kpong irrigation project:," IFPRI discussion papers 1272, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    7. Ricker-Gilbert, Jacob & Jumbe, Charles & Chamberlin, Jordan, 2014. "How does population density influence agricultural intensification and productivity? Evidence from Malawi," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 114-128.
    8. 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.
    9. Ragasa, Catherine & Dankyi, Awere & Acheampong, Patricia & Wiredu, Alexander Nimo & Chapoto, Antony & Asamoah, Marian & Tripp, Robert, 2013. "Patterns of adoption of improved maize technologies in Ghana:," GSSP working papers 36, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    10. Michael Johnson & Peter Hazell & Ashok Gulati, 2003. "The Role of Intermediate Factor Markets in Asia's Green Revolution: Lessons for Africa?," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1211-1216.
    11. Josephson, Anna Leigh & Ricker-Gilbert, Jacob & Florax, Raymond J.G.M., 2014. "How does population density influence agricultural intensification and productivity? Evidence from Ethiopia," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 142-152.
    12. Wiggins, Steve, 2000. "Interpreting Changes from the 1970s to the 1990s in African Agriculture Through Village Studies," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 631-662, April.
    13. Steve Wiggins, 1995. "Change in African farming systems between the mid‐1970s and the mid‐1980s," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 7(6), pages 807-848, November.
    14. Nin-Pratt, Alejandro & McBride, Linden, 2014. "Agricultural intensification in Ghana: Evaluating the optimist’s case for a Green Revolution," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 153-167.
    15. Michael Lipton, 1989. "Agricultural research and modern plant varieties in Sub‐Saharan Africa: Generalizations, realities and conclusions," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 1(1), pages 168-179, January.
    16. Kojo Sebastian Amanor, 2011. "From Farmer Participation to Pro‐poor Seed Markets: The Political Economy of Commercial Cereal Seed Networks in Ghana," IDS Bulletin, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 42(4), pages 48-58, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Katherine A. Snyder & Emmanuel Sulle & Deodatus A. Massay & Anselmi Petro & Paschal Qamara & Dan Brockington, 2020. "“Modern” farming and the transformation of livelihoods in rural Tanzania," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 37(1), pages 33-46, March.
    2. Jessie K. Luna, 2020. "‘Pesticides are our children now’: cultural change and the technological treadmill in the Burkina Faso cotton sector," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 37(2), pages 449-462, June.
    3. 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).
    4. 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.
    5. Chapoto, A. & Houssou, N. & Asante-Addo, C. & Mabiso, A., 2018. "Can smallholder farmers grow? Perspectives from the rise of indigenous small-scale farmers in Ghana," 2018 Conference, July 28-August 2, 2018, Vancouver, British Columbia 277225, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    6. Lefore, N. & Giordano, Meredith & Ringler, C. & Barron, J., "undated". "Sustainable and equitable growth in farmer-led irrigation in Sub-Saharan Africa: what will it take?," Papers published in Journals (Open Access) H049101, International Water Management Institute.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spr:agrhuv:v:35:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s10460-017-9788-6. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla) or (Springer Nature Abstracting and Indexing). General contact details of provider: http://www.springer.com .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.