Information, Market Access and Risk: Addressing constraints to Agriculture in Northern Ghana
Department of Economics
Friday, April 20, 2018
Taylor-Hibbard Seminar Room (Rm103)
2:00 pm-3:15 pm
A typical smallholder farmer in northern Ghana cultivates less than ten acres of land, grows rain-fed maize and groundnut or rice, may be food insecure during lean seasons, maintains very limited liquid savings and faces the risk of weather shocks. These smallholder farmers are using few inputs other than their own family labor: there is little use of organic or inorganic fertilizer, high-yield seeds or farming equipment. Farmers in northern Ghana are achieving just 30 percent of potential crop yields1. We report preliminary results from four-year project centered on examining three major agricultural barriers inhibiting increased farm profitability amongst smallholder farmers: 1) Excessive risk deriving from weather uncertainty; 2) Unavailability and unaffordability of high yielding inputs; 3) Lack of improved agricultural knowledge.