Can the private sector lead agricultural mechanization in Ghana?

Nazaire Houssou, Xinshen Diao, and Shashi Kolavalli 
International Food Policy Research Institute 

Increasing agricultural mechanization has long been of interest to many African countries. Constrained by the limited area that can be cultivated through the use of the hand hoe and its association with perceptions of primitiveness and drudgery, agricultural mechanization and large-scale farming have long been a part of the vision of modernizing agriculture in many African countries, including Ghana. Early state-led efforts that suffered from the usual state-associated implementation failures, combined with a number of other factors, such as lack of demand, discredited public efforts to mechanize agriculture in Africa. Such past efforts were rightly perceived as being supply-led.

Recently, there has been growing demand to mechanize farm operations due to the urgency of intensifying agricultural production and expanding land under cultivation. Factors leading to this increased demand for mechanization include more frequent use of land, increasing non-farm opportunities that attract labor away from agriculture, and, consequently, increases in land to labor ratios (Diao et al., 2012). Unlike with the previous generation of mechanization programs, supply issues may now be the main constraint to successful mechanization in Ghana.

Publication date: 
28 Août, 2014 
Source / Citation: 

Houssou, Nazaire, Xinshen Diao, and Shashi Kolavalli. August 2014. "Can the private sector lead agricultural mechanization in Ghana?" GSSP Policy Note No. 4.