Linking Smallholder Farmers To Markets Enhances Productivity Growth

Linking Smallholder Farmers To Markets Enhances Productivity Growth
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Smallholder farmers are the major players in agricultural production and food supply systems in
Africa. However, poor access to market limits their productivity growth. This brings into focus
the need to support smallholders to become less subsistence-based and more entrepreneurial by
tailoring production to market forces.

Agriculture is one of Ghana's most important economic sector, employing almost half the
population on a formal and informal basis and accounting for about 20% of GDP. The multiple
challenges faced by smallholder farmers in Ghana pose major obstacles that prevent them from
integrating into rapidly evolving national and international markets, which contributes to
sluggish growth and lingering poverty in the rural sector. This is especially seen in the rice sector
as it is estimated that about 66 percent of Ghana's domestic demand for rice is satisfied through
importation from China, USA, Thailand and other nations whereas local production only satisfies
about 34 percent of total demand. In the 2016 market year, it was discovered that 689,000 metric
tons of milled rice was imported into the country to satisfy the increasing local demand of the
commodity. This action has posed serious challenges to local smallholder rice production,
making it uncompetitive in local markets.