Economics at your fingertips  

Changes in Ghanaian farming systems: stagnation or a quiet transformation?

Nazaire Houssou (), Michael Johnson (), Shashi Kolavalli and Collins Asante-Addo ()
Additional contact information
Nazaire Houssou: International Food Policy Research Institute, CSIR Campus
Michael Johnson: Care International
Collins Asante-Addo: Johann Heinrich von Thünen Institute

Agriculture and Human Values, 2018, vol. 35, issue 1, No 3, 66 pages

Abstract: Abstract This research was designed to understand better the patterns of agricultural intensification and transformation occurring in Africa south of the Sahara using the Ghanaian case. The paper examines changes in farming systems and the role of various endogenous and exogenous factors in driving the conversion of arable lands to agricultural uses in four villages within two agro-ecologically distinct zones of Ghana: the Guinea Savannah and Transition zones. Using historical narratives and land-cover maps supplemented with quantitative data at regional levels, the research shows that farming has intensified in the villages, as farmers increased their farm size in response to factors such as population growth, market access, and changing rural lifestyle. The overall trend suggests a gradual move toward intensification through increasing use of labor-saving technologies rather than land-saving inputs—a pattern that contrasts with Asia’s path to its Green Revolution. The findings in this paper provide evidence of the dynamism occurring in African farming systems; hence, they point toward a departure from stagnation narratives that have come to prevail in the debate on agricultural transformation and intensification in Africa south of the Sahara. We conclude that it is essential for future research to expand the scope of this work, while policies should focus on lessons learned from these historical processes of genuine change and adaptation.

Keywords: Agriculture; Intensification; Farming systems; Stagnation; Transformation; Green Revolution; Ghana; Africa south of the Sahara (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (4) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link) Abstract (text/html)
Access to the full text of the articles in this series is restricted.

Related works:
Working Paper: Changes in Ghanaian farming systems: Stagnation or a quiet transformation? (2016) Downloads
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from

DOI: 10.1007/s10460-017-9788-6

Access Statistics for this article

Agriculture and Human Values is currently edited by Harvey S. James Jr.

More articles in Agriculture and Human Values from Springer, The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS)
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Sonal Shukla () and Springer Nature Abstracting and Indexing ().

Page updated 2021-08-28
Handle: RePEc:spr:agrhuv:v:35:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s10460-017-9788-6