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Making Contract Farming Arrangements Work in Africa’s Bioeconomy: Evidence from Cassava Outgrower Schemes in Ghana

Adu-Gyamfi Poku (), Regina Birner () and Saurabh Gupta ()
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Adu-Gyamfi Poku: Institute of Agricultural Sciences in the Tropics (Hans-Ruthenberg-Institute), University of Hohenheim, Wollgrasweg 43, 70599 Stuttgart, Germany
Regina Birner: Institute of Agricultural Sciences in the Tropics (Hans-Ruthenberg-Institute), University of Hohenheim, Wollgrasweg 43, 70599 Stuttgart, Germany
Saurabh Gupta: Center for Development Management, Indian Institute of Management Udaipur, Udaipur District, Balicha, Rajasthan 313002, India

Sustainability, 2018, vol. 10, issue 5, 1-21

Abstract: This paper uniquely focuses on rapidly-developing domestic value chains in Africa’s emerging bioeconomy. It uses a comparative case study approach of a public and private cassava outgrower scheme in Ghana to investigate which contract farming arrangements are sustainable for both farmers and agribusiness firms. A complementary combination of qualitative and quantitative methods is employed to assess the sustainability of these institutional arrangements. The results indicate that ad hoc or opportunistic investments that only address smallholders’ marketing challenges are not sufficient to ensure mutually beneficial and sustainable schemes. The results suggest that firms’ capacity and commitment to design contracts with embedded support services for outgrowers is essential to smallholder participation and the long-term viability of these arrangements. Public-private partnerships in outgrower schemes can present a viable option that harnesses the strengths of both sectors and overcomes their institutional weaknesses.

Keywords: contract farming; contract design; cassava; bioeconomy; Ghana (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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