Beyond Food Production
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Beyond Food Production

The Role of Agriculture in Poverty Reduction

Edited by Fabrizio Bresciani and Alberto Valdés

The importance of agricultural growth to poverty reduction is well known, but the specific channels through which the poor can take advantage of growth require further research. Beyond Food Production takes on this challenge, investigating four important channels: rural labor markets, farm incomes, food prices, and linkages to other economic sectors.
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Chapter 7: Ghana

Ramatu M. Al-Hassan and John Baptist D. Jatoe


Ramatu M. Al-Hassan and John Baptist D. Jatoe 7.1 INTRODUCTION Poverty reduction has been a principal developmental goal in Ghana since 1995. This was clearly spelt out in the Vision 2020 development plan (Republic of Ghana, 1995), which was implemented over the 1996–2000 period. There have been significant declines in poverty levels since the 1980s but the extent of these changes has varied across locations and socioeconomic groups with the savanna zones and groups in agriculture-related employment showing the least improvement in poverty levels. The country’s economic fortunes have been tied to agriculture, whose average contributions to GDP were 60 percent in the 1970s, 54 percent in the 1980s and 36 percent in the last half of the 1990s. Agriculture employs about 60 percent of the economically active of the country’s 18 million people (GSS, 2000a). The performance of the agricultural sector has lagged behind that of services and industry in the last 10 to 15 years. In the last half of the 1980s, performance in the sector dragged down growth in total GDP; in the 1990s, when growth in services and industry slackened, growth in agriculture was not sufficient to pull the economy’s growth with it (Table 7.1). With population growing at 2.6 percent, per capita GDP declined from US$439 in 1993 to US$346 in 2001. Given its contribution to GDP and the high prevalence of poverty in agriculture, much is expected from the sector in the fight to reduce poverty. Information on how...

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