The Role of Agriculture in the Development Process: Recent Experiences from Ghana
Economic policies have had important implications for the role of agriculture in the socio-economic development of Ghana because of agricultures dominance of the economy. The performance of the agricultural sector has generally directed the overall economic performance since independence. The policy of market deregulation in Ghana, including agricultural markets, has not achieved the expected results due to many constraints, the key of which are institutional failures and the slow response of the private sector to take up the agricultural input markets. These have been compounded by the rain-fed agriculture that is predominant in Ghana, such that bad rainfall years have been characterized by low harvests of staple food crops and high food prices, and vice versa. This has resulted in high price volatility during the post liberalization years. In addition, under developed rural financial markets make it such that farmers are unable to invest much in new technologies and agricultural land development, thereby increasing pressure on farmlands as population increases. The paper highlights the key role of agriculture, including environmental, poverty alleviation, food security, buffer, social viability, and cultural perceptions. The failure of policy to adequately address the myriad of problems confronting agriculture has been in part because of institutional failure, and in part due to bottlenecks in the distribution system. Future agricultural research and policies should therefore target developing rural institutions, in particular, agricultural institutions, to respond adequately to new technologies and improvements in agricultural production, processing and distribution.
|Date of creation:||2004|
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