IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/spr/ssefpa/v9y2017i5d10.1007_s12571-017-0716-9.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The neglected governance challenges of agricultural mechanisation in Africa – insights from Ghana

Author

Listed:
  • Thomas Daum

    () (University of Hohenheim)

  • Regina Birner

    () (University of Hohenheim)

Abstract

After decades of neglect, agricultural mechanisation is back on the development agenda in Africa. Taking the mechanisation efforts of Ghana as an example, this paper analyses the governance challenges involved in government and private sector efforts to promote mechanisation in smallholder-based farming systems. To identify these governance challenges, this paper develops a conceptual framework that combines the agricultural innovation system approach with the concepts of New Institutional Economics. Two qualitative empirical methods were used to apply the framework: the Net-Map technique, which is a participatory mapping tool, and expert / key informant interviews. The results show that next to well-known problems such as market failures concerning access to spare-parts supplies and credit, mechanisation is constrained by missing institutions, particularly those that would be required to ensure adequate skill development of tractor-operators and technicians. In addition, exchange rate fluctuations and impeding customs practices prevent stronger private sector involvement in mechanisation. Governance challenges such as political interest and elite capture were found to limit the effectiveness of government imports of tractors and machinery. The findings suggest that instead of focusing on the supply of subsidised machinery, the government could be more effective by investing in institutional development to strengthen the agricultural innovation system for mechanisation and to support emerging private sector initiatives.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas Daum & Regina Birner, 2017. "The neglected governance challenges of agricultural mechanisation in Africa – insights from Ghana," Food Security: The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food, Springer;The International Society for Plant Pathology, vol. 9(5), pages 959-979, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:ssefpa:v:9:y:2017:i:5:d:10.1007_s12571-017-0716-9
    DOI: 10.1007/s12571-017-0716-9
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s12571-017-0716-9
    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 search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Marcel Fafchamps, 2001. "Networks, Communities and Markets in Sub‐Saharan Africa: Implications for Firm Growth and Investment," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 10(suppl_2), pages 109-142.
    2. Klaus Deininger & Derek Byerlee & Jonathan Lindsay & Andrew Norton & Harris Selod & Mercedes Stickler, 2011. "Rising Global Interest in Farmland : Can it Yield Sustainable and Equitable Benefits?," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2263, November.
    3. Birner, Regina & Resnick, Danielle, 2010. "The Political Economy of Policies for Smallholder Agriculture," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(10), pages 1442-1452, October.
    4. Diao, Xinshen & Silver, Jed & Takeshima, Hiroyuki, 2016. "Agricultural mechanization and agricultural transformation:," IFPRI discussion papers 1527, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    5. 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).
    6. Jayne, T.S. & Chamberlin, Jordan & Headey, Derek D., 2014. "Land pressures, the evolution of farming systems, and development strategies in Africa: A synthesis," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 1-17.
    7. Hounkonnou, Dominique & Kossou, Dansou & Kuyper, Thomas W. & Leeuwis, Cees & Nederlof, E. Suzanne & Röling, Niels & Sakyi-Dawson, Owuraku & Traoré, Mamoudou & van Huis, Arnold, 2012. "An innovation systems approach to institutional change: Smallholder development in West Africa," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 74-83.
    8. Diao, Xinshen & Cossar, Frances & Houssou, Nazaire & Kolavalli, Shashidhara & Jimah, Kipo & Aboagye, Patrick, 2012. "Mechanization in Ghana: Searching for sustainable service supply models:," IFPRI discussion papers 1237, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    9. Sunding, David & Zilberman, David, 2001. "The agricultural innovation process: Research and technology adoption in a changing agricultural sector," Handbook of Agricultural Economics, in: B. L. Gardner & G. C. Rausser (ed.), Handbook of Agricultural Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 4, pages 207-261, Elsevier.
    10. 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.
    11. Feder, Gershon & Just, Richard E & Zilberman, David, 1985. "Adoption of Agricultural Innovations in Developing Countries: A Survey," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(2), pages 255-298, January.
    12. 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.
    13. Takeshima, Hiroyuki & Nin-Pratt, Alejandro & Diao, Xinshen, 2013. "Agricultural mechanization patterns in Nigeria: Insights from farm household typology and agricultural household model simulation:," IFPRI discussion papers 1291, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    14. Olmstead, Alan L. & Rhode, Paul W., 1995. "Beyond the Threshold: An Analysis of the Characteristics and Behavior of Early Reaper Adopters," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 55(1), pages 27-57, March.
    15. Samuel Bowles & Herbert Gintis, 1993. "The Revenge of Homo Economicus: Contested Exchange and the Revival of Political Economy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(1), pages 83-102, Winter.
    16. Clark, Norman & Hall, Andy & Sulaiman, Rasheed & Naik, Guru, 2003. "Research as Capacity Building: The Case of an NGO Facilitated Post-Harvest Innovation System for the Himalayan Hills," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(11), pages 1845-1863, November.
    17. Pingali, Prabhu, 2007. "Agricultural Mechanization: Adoption Patterns and Economic Impact," Handbook of Agricultural Economics, in: Robert Evenson & Prabhu Pingali (ed.), Handbook of Agricultural Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 54, pages 2779-2805, Elsevier.
    18. 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.
    19. Houssou, Nazaire & Kolavalli, Shashidhara & Bobobee, Emmanuel & Owusu, Victor, 2013. "Animal traction in Ghana:," GSSP working papers 34, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    20. Bitsch, Vera, 2005. "Qualitative Research: A Grounded Theory Example and Evaluation Criteria," Journal of Agribusiness, Agricultural Economics Association of Georgia, vol. 23(1), pages 1-17.
    21. Birner, Regina & Anderson, Jock R., 2007. "How to make agricultural extension demand-driven?: The case of India's agricultural extension policy," IFPRI discussion papers 729, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    22. Francis M. Bator, 1958. "The Anatomy of Market Failure," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(3), pages 351-379.
    23. Benin, Samuel & Johnson, Michael E. & Abokyi, Emmanuel & Ahorbo, Gerald & Jimah, Kipo & Nasser, Gamel & Owusu, Victor & Taabazuing, Joe & Tenga, Albert, 2013. "Revisiting agricultural input and farm support subsidies in Africa: The case of Ghana’s mechanization, fertilizer, block farms, and marketing programs:," IFPRI discussion papers 1300, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    24. Raabe, Katharina & Birner, Regina & Sekher, Madhushree & Gayathridevi, K.G. & Shilpi, Amrita & Schiffer, Eva, 2010. "How to overcome the governance challenges of implementing NREGA," IFPRI discussion papers 963, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    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. Kirui, Oliver K. & von Braun, Joachim, 2018. "Mechanization in African Agriculture: A Continental Overview on Patterns and Dynamics," Working Papers 273522, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).
    2. Mockshell, Jonathan & Birner, Regina, 2020. "Who has the better story? On the narrative foundations of agricultural development dichotomies," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 135(C).
    3. Kumeh, Eric Mensah & Omulo, Godfrey, 2019. "Youth’s access to agricultural land in Sub-Saharan Africa: A missing link in the global land grabbing discourse," Land Use Policy, Elsevier, vol. 89(C).
    4. Asiedu, Edward & Sadekla, Sylvester S. & Bokpin, Godfred A., 2020. "Aid to Africa’s agriculture towards building physical capital: Empirical evidence and implications for post-COVID-19 food insecurity," World Development Perspectives, Elsevier, vol. 20(C).
    5. Yukichi Mano & Kazushi Takahashi & Keijiro Otsuka, 2020. "Mechanization in land preparation and agricultural intensification: The case of rice farming in the Cote d'Ivoire," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 51(6), pages 899-908, November.
    6. Adu-Baffour, Ferdinand & Daum, Thomas & Birner, Regina, 2018. "Can Big Companies’ Initiatives to Promote Mechanization Benefit Small Farms in Africa? A Case Study from Zambia," Discussion Papers 273521, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).
    7. Adu-Baffour, Ferdinand & Daum, Thomas & Birner, Regina, 2019. "Can small farms benefit from big companies’ initiatives to promote mechanization in Africa? A case study from Zambia," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 133-145.
    8. Daum, T. & Birner, R. & Buchwald, H. & Gerlicher, A., 2018. "Times have changed. Using a Pictorial Smartphone App to Collect Time Use Data in Rural Zambia," 2018 Conference, July 28-August 2, 2018, Vancouver, British Columbia 277076, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    9. Daum, Thomas & Buchwald, Hannes & Gerlicher, Ansgar & Birner, Regina, 2018. "Using A Smartphone App To Collect Data On Smallholder Farming Systems In Zambia," 58th Annual Conference, Kiel, Germany, September 12-14, 2018 275839, German Association of Agricultural Economists (GEWISOLA).
    10. Mastewal Yami & Shiferaw Feleke & Tahirou Abdoulaye & Arega D. Alene & Zoumana Bamba & Victor Manyong, 2019. "African Rural Youth Engagement in Agribusiness: Achievements, Limitations, and Lessons," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(1), pages 1-15, January.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Adu-Baffour, Ferdinand & Daum, Thomas & Birner, Regina, 2018. "Can Big Companies’ Initiatives to Promote Mechanization Benefit Small Farms in Africa? A Case Study from Zambia," Discussion Papers 273521, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).
    2. Adu-Baffour, Ferdinand & Daum, Thomas & Birner, Regina, 2019. "Can small farms benefit from big companies’ initiatives to promote mechanization in Africa? A case study from Zambia," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 133-145.
    3. Diao, Xinshen & Silver, Jed & Takeshima, Hiroyuki, 2016. "Agricultural mechanization and agricultural transformation:," IFPRI discussion papers 1527, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    4. 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).
    5. Liang Lu & Thomas Reardon & David Zilberman, 2016. "Supply Chain Design and Adoption of Indivisible Technology," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 98(5), pages 1419-1431.
    6. Zhang, Xiaobo & Yang, Jin & Reardon, Thomas, 2020. "Mechanization outsourcing clusters and division of labor in Chinese agriculture," IFPRI book chapters, in: An evolving paradigm of agricultural mechanization development: How much can Africa learn from Asia?, chapter 2, pages 71-96, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    7. 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.
    8. Takeshima, Hiroyuki & Houssou, Nazaire & Diao, Xinshen, 2018. "Effects of tractor ownership on returns-to-scale in agriculture: Evidence from maize in Ghana," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 33-49.
    9. Benin, Samuel, 2014. "Impact of Ghana’s agricultural mechanization services center program:," IFPRI discussion papers 1330, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    10. Kebebe, E. & Duncan, AJ & Klerkx, L. & de Boer, I.J.M. & Oosting, S.J., 2015. "Understanding socio-economic and policy constraints to dairy development in Ethiopia: A coupled functional-structural innovation systems analysis," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 141(C), pages 69-78.
    11. 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).
    12. Diao, Xinshen & Magalhaes, Eduardo & Silver, Jed, 2019. "Cities and rural transformation: A spatial analysis of rural livelihoods in Ghana," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 141-157.
    13. Pardey, Philip G. & Alston, Julian M. & Ruttan, Vernon W., 2010. "The Economics of Innovation and Technical Change in Agriculture," Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, in: Bronwyn H. Hall & Nathan Rosenberg (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 939-984, Elsevier.
    14. Mequaninte, Teferi & Birner, Regina & Mueller, Ulrike, 2015. "Adoption of Land Management Practices in Ethiopia: Which Network Types," 2015 Conference, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy 212631, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    15. Jayne, T.S. & Chamberlin, Jordan & Traub, Lulama & Sitko, N. & Muyanga, Milu & Yeboah, Kwame & Nkonde, Chewe & Anseeuw, Ward & Chapoto, A. & Kachule, Richard, 2015. "Africa’s Changing Farmland Ownership: Causes and Consequences," Miscellaneous Publications 208576, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    16. Xinshen Diao & Agandin, John & Fang, Peixun & Justice, Scott E. & Kufoalor, Doreen & Takeshima, Hiroyuki, 2018. "Agricultural Mechanization In Ghana: Insights From A Recent Field Study," Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy Research Papers 275679, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics, Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security (FSP).
    17. Deininger,Klaus W. & Xia,Fang & Savastano,Sara, 2015. "Smallholders? land ownership and access in Sub-Saharan Africa: a new landscape ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7285, The World Bank.
    18. Xie, Yang & Zilberman, David, 2014. "The Economics of Water Project Capacities and Conservation Technologies," 2014 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2014, Minneapolis, Minnesota 169820, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    19. Sylvain Dessy & Jacques Ewoudou & Isabelle Ouellet, 2006. "Understanding the Persistent Low Performance of African Agriculture," Cahiers de recherche 0622, CIRPEE.
    20. 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.

    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:ssefpa:v:9:y:2017:i:5:d:10.1007_s12571-017-0716-9. 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.