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 will bring 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 aims to promote 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 will offer the opportunity to present rigorous research studies and discuss their implications. Contributions will focus on thematic areas that are relevant for policy decision-making and are bottlenecks for Ghanaian agricultural development. These themes include, but are not limited to:
- Agricultural extension services
- Microfinance products for agriculture
- Technological innovation and adoption in agriculture
- Rural labor markets
- Agricultural value chains
Innovations for Poverty Action, in collaboration with the International Food Policy Research Institute, the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research, and the Northwestern University Global Poverty Research Lab are pleased to accept proposals for presentation from studies conducted in one or more of the above mentioned thematic areas.
Applicants should submit an extended abstract where they describe the research questions, the geographic scope of the study, the type of data and sample size, methodology used, the results, and the policy implications of their study. The document should not exceed 800 words and should be uploaded at goo.gl/forms/qL6ggWc5SY9hJviW2 by the 31st of January 2018.
Submitted studies will be reviewed by a panel of experts from IPA, IFPRI, ISSER, and Northwestern. Authors of accepted studies will be notified by the 31st of March 2018 and they will be invited to present their work at Towards Agricultural Innovation in Ghana, taking place in Accra on the 9th and 10th of May 2018. At the end of the conference, the panel will select studies for publication.
Authors based outside of Accra will be provided with accommodation. International travel reimbursement may also be provided for authors of selected studies.
Questions may be addressed to Dr. Federica Di Battista at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Scientific committee of the conference:
Prof. Dean Karlan (Innovations for Poverty Action) - email@example.com
Dr. Shashidhara Kolavalli (IFPRI) - firstname.lastname@example.org
Prof. Robert Darko Osei (ISSER) - email@example.com
Prof. Christopher Udry (Northwestern University) - firstname.lastname@example.org