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Understanding the influence of livelihood features on cassava value chains

Understanding the influence of livelihood features on cassava value chains

Anaglo, Jonathan Nicholas (2011) Understanding the influence of livelihood features on cassava value chains. PhD thesis, University of Greenwich.

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More than 70% of Ghanaian farmers depend on cassava farming and processing as part of their livelihood activities. The study sought to identify the actors in the cassava value chains, how their livelihood features influence upgrading in the value chains and also, factors that farmers consider in deciding whether to sell fresh cassava roots to intermediate processors or to process the roots themselves and sell.

The study was conducted in locations in six districts in Ghana. It combined the Value Chain Approach and the Sustainable Livelihoods Approach using qualitative and quantitative data. A stakeholder workshop was held to identify the main actors and their functions in the fufu, kokonte and cassava flour value chains. Livelihood analysis was conducted in two parts. First, it was carried out on eighty (80) households in the pounded fufu and kokonte value chains and the second aspect involved an intermediary flour processor – Amasa Agro Processing Company Limited and 43 individual farmers who supplied cassava roots to the Company. A cost benefit analysis was also carried out to determine whether selling of cassava roots is more profitable than processing the roots into shelf-stable products for sale.

It was observed that farmers and processors, who are the main actors in the identified value chains, did not have adequate access to physical, social, natural, financial and human capital. Livelihood features that enhanced prospects for upgrading in the fufu value chain were increased access to energy, water and sanitation, group membership, access to information, and a vibrant enabling environment. Three livelihood constraints, poor access to credit, labour shortage and inadequate transport facilities have however, been found to create circumstances favourable to adoption of the new technology in the fufu value chain. In the kokonte value chain, it was observed that access to health facilities, improved transportation, group membership, access to information and an enabling environment enhanced prospects for upgrading.

It was also observed that farmers made more profit when they processed their cassava and sold it than when they sell the cassava roots to the intermediary processor. Among the processed products, profits from grits were found to be the highest, followed by agbelima and gari. However, farmers indicated that they are more comfortable selling cassava roots and grits to the intermediary HQCF processor than middlemen and other buyers because in addition to bulk and prompt payment, they have their fields ploughed for them on credit basis and also get free cassava planting materials.

To promote the adoption of new cassava-processing technologies in Ghana and elsewhere in Africa, strategies recommended were the provision of financial assistance, improving access to information through extension services, development of manual and cheaper kokonte slicing machines and legislation on the use of a percentage of High Quality Cassava Flour as a substitute to wheat flour in the baking industry.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information:
Uncontrolled Keywords: cassava farming, cassava-processing technologies, cassava value chains, Ghana, Africa, value chain approach, sustainable livelihoods approach, livelihood, agriculture
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
S Agriculture > SB Plant culture
Pre-2014 Departments: School of Science
School of Science > Natural Resources Institute > Natural Resources Department
Last Modified: 23 Mar 2017 10:24

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