The Role of Agriculture in Poverty Reduction: Recent Experiences from Africa
Increasing foreign exchange problems and deteriorating prices of traditional export commodities have led policy makers and donor agencies to seek diversification in export crop production. In Ghana, crops such as pineapples and mangoes appear promising because of their high labour intensity and the expanding demand for fruits in Europe. Notwithstanding, there is a possible trade-off between export and food crop production because of the possibility of resource re-allocation. So far the major concern of government has been the macro-economic growth in terms export earnings while the distributional effects and impacts on household food security remain under-investigated. The study focused on a household survey undertaken in the forest and coastal-savannah transition zones, where the farming system has undergone a transition from established food-crop farming for urban markets to an intensive production of horticultural products for export. Logistic regression and a semi-log function were used to estimate the determinants of household food availability and income respectively. Results show that households engaged in export horticulture are better-off than those which do not. Yet, the sole adoption of staple or export crop is not a sufficient condition for improving household food security. Household land endowment and income are fairly to strongly unequally distributed, with higher inequality observed among households engaged in the combined scenario. The paper concludes that linkages which allow simultaneous and reliably access to a range of resources and services â purchased farm inputs, symmetric market information and technological know-how are critical if smallholders are to survive in increasingly competitive global food markets.
Agricultural and Food Policy, Consumer/Household Economics, Demand and Price Analysis, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, Food Security and Poverty, International Relations/Trade, Marketing, Productivity Analysis, Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies,
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