Agricultural value chain development (VCD) is an important way of reducing poverty in developing countries through building the competitiveness of selected chains to stimulate benefits for one or more actors, targeting marginalized producers upstream. In Ghana, evidence show that several programs aimed at improving the productive capacity and competitiveness of smallholder farmers and other value chain actors have been undertaken. Yet, Smallholders’ integration into input and output markets remain limited. Most smallholder value chains continue to be characterized by limited input use, low productivity and limited ability of farmers to supply industry required quality and quantity. This casts questions about the effectiveness of value chain programs undertaken in the past and the extent to which their approaches fit the Ghanaian smallholder context. This study seeks to understand the various VC projects that have been undertaken in Ghana, the thought processes (theoretical, conceptual and practical) that went into their initiation, actual decisions made in the programs, the logic behind those decisions, and the extent to which their goals were achieved.
The study will specifically:
- Make an inventory and an overview of previous agricultural value chain programs in Ghana and other developing country contexts, drawing on their goals, decisions, logic behind decisions, achievements, etc. and how these were influenced by the program design and approach.
- Derive the possible theoretical and conceptual perspectives that guide the kind of value chain development approaches adopted by these programs, drawing from the grey literature and evidence from project practice.
- Conduct VC actor surveys to get the individual perspectives and experiences of actors that have participated in previous value chain programs, getting insights on decisions they made as participants, the reasons behind these decisions, and to what extent the VCD approach served (or derailed) their interests.
This student shall conduct an extensive desk review of materials such as project reports, technical reports, working papers, white papers, minutes of meetings, etc. (S)he will also conduct a survey/interview for various actors along agricultural value chains who have previously participated in such programs. With support of the FERARI team, the student shall be required to provide a clear study methodology for this research.
At the end of the research, the student shall produce a report to FERARI on this research and extract the most important findings in a policy brief. The student would also be assisted to produce a research article that can be published in a scientific journal for our wider international audience.
An MPhil/MSc student in Agricultural Economics, Development economics or Sociology. Applicant must have completed his/her course work and ready to start the research component. The applicant must demonstrate high analytical and data processing skills and must have a good knowledge of qualitative and quantitative social science research.
The duration for this assignment shall be seven (7) months.
Closing Date : November 15, 2021