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Boserupian pressure and agricultural mechanization in modern Ghana:

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  • Cossar, Frances

Abstract

The adoption of machinery in agricultural production in Africa south of the Sahara has been far behind the level of mechanization found in Asia and Latin America. However, recent survey data have revealed high levels of machinery use in localized areas of cereal production in northern Ghana. A survey conducted by the International Food Policy Research Institute, in partnership with the Savannah Agriculture Research Institute, found that in some areas more than 80 percent of farmers were using machinery for at least one operation. This paper considers the theoretical drivers of agricultural intensification, as outlined by Boserup, Pingali, and Binswanger, and the extent to which they are able to explain the spatial variation in machinery use found in northern Ghana. Population pressure, market access, and agroecological conditions are considered key drivers that cause farmers to find ways to increase productivity and adopt new technologies. Combining survey data with geospatial datasets, the empirical analysis finds that population growth and travel time to the local urban center explain a significant and large proportion of the variation in machinery use by farmers.

Suggested Citation

  • Cossar, Frances, 2016. "Boserupian pressure and agricultural mechanization in modern Ghana:," IFPRI discussion papers 1528, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:fpr:ifprid:1528
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Renkow, Mitch & Hallstrom, Daniel G. & Karanja, Daniel D., 2004. "Rural infrastructure, transactions costs and market participation in Kenya," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 349-367, February.
    2. Timothy G. Conley & Christopher R. Udry, 2010. "Learning about a New Technology: Pineapple in Ghana," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 35-69, March.
    3. 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.
    4. Markus Goldstein & Christopher Udry, 2008. "The Profits of Power: Land Rights and Agricultural Investment in Ghana," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(6), pages 981-1022, December.
    5. Nazaire Houssou & Xinshen Diao & Frances Cossar & Shashidhara Kolavalli & Kipo Jimah & Patrick Ohene Aboagye, 2013. "Agricultural Mechanization in Ghana: Is Specialized Agricultural Mechanization Service Provision a Viable Business Model?," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1237-1244.
    6. Takeshima, Hiroyuki, 2015. "Market imperfections for tractor service provision in Nigeria: International perspectives and empirical evidence:," IFPRI discussion papers 1424, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    7. Abdulai, Awudu, 2000. "Spatial price transmission and asymmetry in the Ghanaian maize market," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 327-349, December.
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    Keywords

    mechanization; intensification; market access; surveys; innovation; food production;

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