Ghana Landscape Study
The Republic of Ghana (Ghana) became the first African country to gain independence from Great Britain in 1957 (GhanaWeb, 2015). It is located in western African and is situated along of the Gulf of Guinea, covering approximately 239,000 kilometers. With an estimated population of 27 million, women account for an estimated 50% of the population (GhanaWeb, 2015; Ghana Statistical Service, 2013). Most of the population lives in rural communities (two-thirds), while the rest of the population resides in urban areas (GSS, 2014). Additionally, an estimate of 85% of the population lives below the poverty line and over 22% of these poverty-stricken Ghanaians reside in Feed the Future target areas (African Development Fund, 2015; USAID, 2012). According to the Human Development Index, Ghana ranks at 135 out of 187 countries with a large number of the population who are malnourished (Food and Agriculture (FAO), 2013).
Home to Africa’s ninth largest economy, Ghana is a leading manufacturer of petroleum and natural and leading exporter of cocoa, gold, and diamonds (GhanaWeb, 2015; Ghana Statistical Service (GSS), 2013). Though Ghana has achieved these economic successes, Ghana still faced considerable challenges, specifically in the agricultural sector. Despite employing approximately 45% of Ghana’s population, agricultural yields have been far below their potential, farmers improperly use agricultural technologies, and very few farmers have adopted technological advances that could increase their agricultural output (Diao, 2010; GSS, 2014). To combat this issue, The Government of Ghana (GoG) and several organizations have intervened. GoG has implemented several programs and policies to improve the agricultural sector. For instance, the National Food Buffer Stock Company (NAFCO) was established in 2010 to reduce post-harvest losses and sustain the stability of prices (FAO, 2015). Similarly, in 2014, Feed the Future initiatives in Ghana assisted over 23,000 farmers in introducing new technologies and practices, such as high-yielding seeds, fertilizer application, soil conservation and water management, on their farms for the first time. The introduction of these higher productivity technologies has generated millions of dollars in income (USAID, 2012) and Ghana’s agricultural sector has experienced an agricultural growth rate of approximately five percent per year, which has contributed to an overall reduction of poverty by over 20%, increased farmer’s income, and improved child and adult malnutrition (Leturque & Wiggins, 2011).