Ghana Strategy Support Program

Ghana’s Agricultural and Rural Development Challenge

In the past 20 years Ghana has significantly advanced economic development and reduced poverty. Between 1984 and 2004, the country’s real gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 4.8 percent a year. By 2015 the government aims to raise Ghanaians’ per capita income above US$1,000 and to achieve GDP growth rates of more than 8 percent a year. Agriculture is central to the government’s efforts to achieve these objectives; it accounts for a third of the country’s GDP and employs nearly 60 percent of the workforce. In developing effective strategies to unlock the potential of Ghanaian agriculture and to achieve the country’s growth and poverty reduction goals, it is crucial to address the following questions:

For more IFPRI research on Ghana, see the Ghana country page

  • What are the trade-offs between growth and poverty reduction for various development options? In particular, what are the implications for growth of adopting a strategy focusing on production of staple foods, an approach that could potentially reduce poverty considerably?
  • What changes in policy, governance, and public investment are required to make Ghanaian farmers more competitive globally and regionally? How can opportunities to diversify their crop production be expanded?
  • What are the linkages between various sectors, and how can they be exploited in both rural and urban areas to provide livelihood opportunities for the nearly 20 percent of the population that is unemployed?
  • How can agriculture be developed and poverty reduced without unduly increasing the pressure on natural resources and the environment, especially when the livelihoods of the poor depend so much on sustainable use of these resources?

The Ghana Strategy Support Program (GSSP)

GSSP is a research, communication, and capacity-strengthening Program to build the capabilities of researchers, administrators, policymakers, and members of civil society in Ghana to develop and implement agricultural and rural development strategies. With core funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)/Ghana and a mandate to develop a multi-donor-funded Program, IFPRI launched GSSP as a partnership between Ghana and its development partners. IFPRI is working with these stakeholders to generate information, improve dialogue, and sharpen decisionmaking processes essential for effective formulation and implementation of development strategies. GSSP informs stakeholders on the role of agriculture and rural development in the broader economic and policy context, in line with the emphasis placed on agriculture in Ghana’s Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy. GSSP supports the development and implementation of a system to monitor and evaluate progress toward achieving Ghana’s growth and poverty reduction targets and the Millennium Development Goals.

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