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Unlocking the Potential of Contract Farming: Lessons from Ghana

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Type: Working Paper
Author: Freeman, Comfort Kudadjie; Richards, Paul; Struik, Paul C.
Date: 2008
Agency: International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), London
Series: Gatekeeper, no. 139
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/5855
Sector: Agriculture
Region: Africa
Subject(s): agriculture
food supply
natural resources
resource management
Abstract: "This paper analyses sorghum contract farming in north-east Ghana in order to explore ways of making such arrangements viable for small farmers. The analysis draws on the convergence of sciences approach, which sees both science and social relations interactions among the relevant stakeholders) as important for developing small farmer-relevant agricultural innovations (technology, procedures, new forms of organisation). The study reveals that the failure and problems encountered in this particular contracting scheme were both technical and institutional. The technical issues were a combination of pest problems, the environment and the sorghum variety chosen. The institutional issues involved the contractual arrangements and relations between the contracting parties. The authors argue that if contracts are to be fair, they must allow for compensation, contingencies and production risks. But scientific knowledge is required in order to adequately incorporate these elements."

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