While the world works toward the Sustainable Development Goals, important transformations of the agricultural sector will be required to achieve food security, the eradication of poverty and hunger, and sustainable economic development in sub-Saharan Africa.
This is particularly true in Ghana, where the agricultural sector contributes 19 percent of GDP and absorbs 45 percent of total national employment. Low productivity in agriculture is strongly associated with poverty: 78 percent of the poor population of Ghana lives in rural areas.
These figures indicate that a more competitive and productive agricultural sector can support poverty eradication. Government and other key stakeholders must create the enabling environment to boost agricultural productivity and profitability.
Rigorous studies in the agriculture sector conducted in Ghana and across Africa are available, and can provide insight into how to pursue this goal. However, lessons from such studies are often not readily available to policymakers and institutions. For Ghana to design informed policies aiming at promoting rural development, bridging the gap and creating a constructive dialogue between researchers and policymakers is of paramount importance.
Towards Agricultural Innovation in Ghana brought together researchers, local and international NGOs, inter-governmental organizations, and policymakers working in the agricultural sector to facilitate dialogue among different parties about rigorous studies on the impact of agricultural interventions. By creating more visibility for such existing studies and discussing their implications, the event promoted the use of rigorous evidence from both Ghana and elsewhere within the region, with the ultimate goal of designing informed policies and programs to improve food security and reduce poverty in the country.
Themes of interest
Towards Agricultural Innovation in Ghana offered the opportunity to present rigorous research studies and discuss their implications. Contributions focused on thematic areas that are relevant for policy decision-making and are bottlenecks for Ghanaian agricultural development. These themes included:
- Agricultural extension services
- Microfinance products for agriculture
- Technological innovation and adoption in agriculture
- Rural labor markets
- Agricultural value chains
Scientific committee of the conference:
Prof. Dean Karlan (Innovations for Poverty Action) - firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Shashidhara Kolavalli (IFPRI) - email@example.com
Prof. Robert Darko Osei (ISSER) - firstname.lastname@example.org
Prof. Christopher Udry (Northwestern University) - email@example.com