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Globalization: its effects on agricultural production in Ghana
by Kwamina E. Banson
Manuscript based on the theme of 2008 National Farmer‘s Day Celebration December 2008
Table of contents Table of contents ........................................................................................................................ ii List of figure .............................................................................................................................. iii Abbreviations ............................................................................................................................ iii 1 INTRODUCTION .............................................................................................................. 1 1.1 2 3 4 5 Background ................................................................................................................ 1
THE GHANAIAN ECONOMY ........................................................................................ 4 GHANAIAN AGRICULTURE TODAY .......................................................................... 6 THE CRISIS FACING GHANAIAN AGRICULTURE ................................................... 9 REFORMS ON GHANA‘S AGRICULTURAL POLICY AND STRUCTURE ............ 11 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Input subsidies .......................................................................................................... 11 Provision of technical services ................................................................................. 12 Agricultural marketing: government purchase and minimum guaranteed prices ... 12 Other aspects ............................................................................................................ 14 International Standardisation ................................................................................... 14
LIBERALISATION AND HOW IT FAILED ................................................................. 15 CONCLUSION ................................................................................................................ 17
REFERENCES ......................................................................................................................... 18
iii List of figure Figure 1: Real Non-Oil Commodity Terms of Trade, 1997-1998…………………........1
Abbreviations ADC BAA CACP EPA FY GDP GFDC GMP GSC GSP GWC HIPC IMF IPM LDCs MFN MOFA MTADP OFY OFYI SAP USAID WTO Agricultural Development Corporation Bureau of African Affairs Committee on Agricultural Commodity Prices Economic Partnership Agreement Fiscal Year Gross Domestic Product Ghana Food Distribution Corporation Guaranteed Minimum Price Ghana Seed Company Generalized System of Preferences Ghana Warehousing Company Highly Indebted Poor Country International Monetary Fund Integrated Pest Management Least Developed Countries Most Favoured Nation Ministry of Food and Agriculture Medium Term Agricultural Development Programme Operation Feed Yourself Operation Feed Your Industries Structural Adjustment programs United States Agency for International Development World Trade Organization
1 1 1.1 INTRODUCTION Background
Globalisation: is a process where the world economies are becoming more integrated. Globalisation also refers to an emerging ‗global culture‘ in which people more often consume similar goods and services across countries and use a common language of business. But in its core economic meaning, globalisation refers to the increased openness of economies to international trade, financial flow and direct foreign investment. It brings about benefits and opportunities as well as cost and risks. It makes it potentially possible for Least Developed Countries; LDC‘s to absorb knowledge, which is one of the foundations of wealth and economic growth. Some countries such as East Asian states have benefited from globalisation; others such as African countries have not. International rules of the game or agreements are needed to level the playing field of globalisation (Todaro and Smith p. 578). Many developing countries (LDCs) rely heavily on exports of agricultural products and raw materials which gives them 40% or more of their export earnings and also rely heavily on imports typically of machinery, capital goods, intermediate producer goods, and manufactured consumer products (Todaro, 2000). Agricultural products have relatively low-income elasticity of demand and supply, which implies that their prices and revenues received will decline over time. Low elasticity of demand and supply contributes to export earnings instability in developing countries. Prebisch and Singer argue that export prices of agricultural products fall over time, that is developing countries that export agricultural products would be able to import less and less manufactured goods for a given level of agricultural exports, so LDCs lose revenue unless they can continually increase export volumes. In international economics and international trade, terms of trade are the ratio of the price of an export commodity/-ies to the price of an import commodity/-ies. An improvement in a nation's terms of trade is good for that country in the sense that it has to pay less for the products it imports, that is, it has to give up less exports for the imports it receives (Krueger, 1999). According to Todaro (2000), price of exports / price of imports declines overtime as shown in figure 1. Prebisch and Singer state that LDCs need to avoid a dependence on agricultural exports.
Figure 1 - Real Non-Oil Commodity Terms of Trade, 1997-1998 Source: Todaro, 2000
4 2 THE GHANAIAN ECONOMY
After Ghana‘s independence, large-scale state farms, known as State Farms, were established and an Agricultural Development Corporation (ADC) was set up to promote agricultural modernisation and development through the State Farms. The ADC‘s role expanded under the Second Five-Year Development Plan (1959-64). (Khor and Hormeku, 2006). Emphasis was put on import-substituting industrialisation, mechanised agriculture and direct public intervention in production. Small-scale independent farmers were organised for mechanised agriculture through cooperative efforts. The interventionist economic policy raised the government‘s expenditures and resulted in severe economic problems. The fall in cocoa prices on the world market in the late 1950s depleted the stock of foreign exchange. The government experienced a heavy budget deficit and financed this through bank borrowing. Inflation became high. To increase agricultural production to self-sufficient levels and the production of agricultural industrial raw materials, the programmes Operation Feed Yourself (OFY) and Operation Feed Your Industries (OFYI) were put into action in 1972. The production was assumed to increase through an expansion of available acreage for the small-scale farmers. Ghana became self-sufficient in rice between 1974 and 1975, but this corresponded with a decline in cocoa production (Khor and Hormeku, 2006). The economy deteriorated due to domestic policies and external factors such as worsening terms of trade. The economic decline, falling per capita production and less availability in staple crops resulted in high and widespread food insecurity (Khor and Hormeku, 2006). Facing a severe economic crisis, Ghana approached the IMF for a loan, and the IMF granted what is called a ‗structural adjustment‘ loan, which is a loan with certain conditions attached, which relate to a structural change in the economy (Rao and Anil 2006). The new framework put emphasis on the free market system, with prices given a central role in the allocation of resources, and the government‘s control and participation in the economy was curbed, including in agriculture. The government ushered in a new era of economic reforms based on these conditions. These reforms (broadly called Liberalisation by the Ghanaian media) can be broadly classified into three areas: Liberalization, privatization and globalization. Essentially, the reforms sought to gradually phase out government control of the market (liberalisation), privatize public sector
5 organizations (privatization), and reduce export subsidies and import barriers to enable free trade (globalization). There was a considerable amount of debate in Ghana at the time of the introduction of the reforms. However, reforms in the agricultural sector in particular came under severe criticism in the late 1990s and recent years. The agriculture sector has generally performed below potential, according to the World Trade Organization (WTO) report on Ghana. For example: Ghana's cocoa production experienced a long decline from the early 1960s, falling by half, to around 200,000 tonnes annually, and has only recently returned to earlier levels. Regarding cereals, between 1995 and 1999, Ghana produced an average of 230,000 tonnes of paddy rice annually. About two thirds of imported rice is from the United States. Cotton production declined substantially during the 1980s, and Ghana currently produces about three quarters of its lint cotton requirements. Sugar cane production has contracted to less than 100,000 tonnes annually following the closure of the country's two sugar mills. Ghana also produces mainly flue-cured tobacco leaf for export and domestic processing. Current production is around 3,000 tonnes annually. The Leaf Development Company was privatized in the early 1990s. Oil palm is processed in Ghana both for domestic and export markets. Production is mainly by smallholders. The Government has privatized state-owned plantations and mills, including divestiture of the Ghana Oil Palm Development Corporation in 1994. The rubber industry is being revitalized, mainly for export, based on the development of new plantations (Khor and Hormeku, 2006). In recent years 2008, thousands of rice farmers joined by pineapple and cassava farmers for solidarity took to the streets of Accra their frustrations to press for government intervention to promote local rice production. (Kofi Yeboah, 2008). The trend was noticed in several other regions, and the figure today, according to a leading news paper (Daily Graphic and the Ghanaian Times) and activist, F. Xah, stands at 1000s across the country (The Ghanaian Time, 2008). Coupled with this was a sharp drop in agricultural growth from 4.69% in 1999 to 2.06% in 2006 though the value of export increased. (MOFA, 2007a, USAID, 2007). This paper seeks to look into the pros and cons of globalization in Ghanaian agriculture today, and in analyzing the causes, will look at the extent to which liberalization reforms have contributed to its current condition. Trade is a key factor in economic development. A successful use of trade can boost a country's development. On the other hand, opening up markets to international trade may leave local producers swamped by more competitive foreign producers. It will look at globalization effect on Ghanaian agriculture.
6 3 GHANAIAN AGRICULTURE TODAY
Agriculture is still the mainstay of Ghana‘s economy. About 40% of the GDP is accounted for by agriculture and livestock, forestry, and fishing. Mining accounts for another 6% and manufacturing about 10%. But the importance of agriculture is even greater than these figures suggest. About 70% of the employment is dependent on agriculture; and some of the other jobs are also linked to agriculture, such as processing, transport and trade of agriculture products and materials (Khor and Hormeku, 2006). About 80% of agricultural production is from smallholder family-operated farms, mainly below one hectare. Larger holdings produce mainly cash crops, such as oil palm, rubber, and pineapples. Only about one third of land suitable for agriculture is currently cultivated (WTO 2001). Thus, the agriculture sector (and especially the sub-sectors that produce food) is critical in provision of livelihoods and incomes, and developments within this sector are most important in terms of attaining the Millennium Development Goals such as elimination of poverty. The most important cash crop in Ghana remains cocoa. The crop is vulnerable to the vagaries of the international market, especially to volatility in export prices. The state used to play a very significant role in various aspects of cocoa production and marketing. Since the early 1980s, however, there has been a very significant liberalization of cocoa. Although cocoa continues to be marketed by the Cocoa Marketing Company, a subsidiary of COCOBOD, these arrangements are being increasingly deregulated. A medium-term cocoa strategy was adopted in April 1999 aimed at increasing growers' returns by reducing taxation levels and further enhancing COCOBOD's efficiency, as well as limiting its marketing powers, especially the export monopoly. Under these liberalized policies, cocoa production expanded during the 1990s to former levels, of around 400,000 tonnes annually, and is forecast to rise to 700,000 tonnes by 2009. (WTO, 2001). As part of the government policy to diversify exports, there has been an expansion of nontraditional exports in the past 15 years. Processed and semi-processed products, such as canned foods (mainly tuna), wood, and aluminium products, represented over three quarters of non-traditional exports in 1998. The main non-traditional agricultural exports in 1998 were yams, fish (salted, dried, smoked, and frozen), crustaceans, bananas, and various vegetables. However, apart from cocoa, Ghana exports few agricultural products in significant quantities. Cocoa, by far the most important cash crop, accounted for 14% of agricultural GDP in 1998. The other main agricultural crops are cereals, such as maize, rice, millet, and sorghum, as well
7 as starchy staples, such as cassava, yam, cocoyam, and plantain. Other crops include tobacco, cotton, oil palm, rubber, copra and sugar cane, and horticulture crops like pineapples, mangoes, chillies, peppers, ginger, bananas, beans and tomatos. Together they formed 61% of agricultural GDP. Livestock accounted for around 7% of agricultural GDP, fisheries for 5%; and forestry 11%. (WTO, 2001). Agricultural development, including food self-sufficiency, is an important component of the Government's Vision 2020. To meet these objectives, the Government adopted an "Accelerated Agricultural Growth and Development Strategy in Support of Vision 2020" for 1997 to 2007. The strategy is to achieve annual real growth of 6% in the sector – substantially above the annual average of 4% recorded between 1995 and 1999 – based substantially on exports. The strategy covers all of agriculture, including crops, livestock, fisheries, forestry, and cocoa. Such growth is to be achieved by adopting open market principles to encourage private sector investment, and greater devolution of responsibilities from central government to district assemblies. However agricultural production and productivity keep declining. For instance, during FY 2006, the volume of non traditional commodities exported decreased by 5,900 tons (USAID, 2007). The volume of pineapple production and export during the same period fell by more than 50% one of the sharpest drops in independent Ghana‘s history. This slowdown in agriculture is in contrast to the 6.2% growth rate of the Ghanaian economy for almost the whole of the past decade (BAA, 2008). The Agricultural sector is the one at risk the most from the deals of Structural Adjustment programs (SAP) since it is already suffering from the effects of the first and second wave of the deadly trade liberalization in the previous decade. Due to the unfair competition from the highly subsidized agricultural product from the EU and the USA, the agric sector in Ghana has been driven to the point of extinction. The grains, livestock and poultry subsectors have especially felt the pinch leading to shrinking of their productivity. Rice production especially has taken a heavy hit since the trade liberalization in the early 1990s. Rice production has fallen by as much as 25% while poultry production has fallen drastically under the weight of the dumped and highly subsidized (about €1.25bn) poultry products from the EU (Khor and Hormeku, 2006). With all the repercussions of the conditions of the SAP, The government has gone ahead to sign the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) deal. The deal will cost the government about $120m in lost tariff revenue yearly (GhanaWatch, 2006). This will rob the government
8 of badly needed funds for infrastructure and social investments. The EPA will also mean Ghana will open its markets to competition from highly subsidized agricultural goods from the EU. The EPA will be a challenge to the livelihood and food security of the poorest section of our already HIPC nation. Even the EU‘s own Sustainability Impact Assessment report admits that ECOWAS region will be adversely affected by the EPA. According to GhanaWatch 2006, there are even some studies that suggest that only about 23% of Ghana‘s export to the EU will benefit from an enhanced access as a result of the EPA. Seventy three (73%) of Ghana exports to the EU is covered by Most Favoured Nation (MFN) zero and Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) zero tariffs. This deal will favour the imperialist masters and the rent seekers (exporters of marginal products inconsequential to the overall economy) and will be most damaging to the majority of Ghanaians. Ghana has suffered under the pressure of ―The Washington consensus‖ policies via the Structural Adjustment programs of the 1990s. The stuttering industrial sector is set to suffer further from the unfair competition from obviously advanced and highly competitive European industrial products. It is estimated that it will displace about 8% of the industrial sector in Ghana over the next five years (GhanaWatch, 2006). For a nation that is already experiencing deindustrialization, this will definitely be the death of industry in Ghana.
9 4 THE CRISIS FACING GHANAIAN AGRICULTURE
The effects of import liberalization on the viability of Ghana‘s agriculture, particularly that practiced by small food crops farmers have emerged because of the experience of structural adjustment programmes, in which trade liberalisation as well as the withdrawal of the state from an active role in support of farmers, are prominent components of the loan conditionalities of international financial institutions. The biggest problem Ghanaian agriculture faces today is intense competition from imports that have threatened to displace some of the products of small farmers from their own domestic market. The competition emanating from imports has not been fair, in many cases. This is because imports coming from developed countries are usually heavily subsidized, and thus their prices are artificially cheapened. On the other hand, Ghanaian farmers are usually not subsidized. Moreover, the assistance that the government use to provided have been withdrawn or substantially reduced, due to the structural adjustment policies. A more critical view of the performance of the Ghana agriculture sector under structural adjustment, and of the role of the World Bank, is provided by Hutchful 2002. It showed that despite the rhetoric of reform, the volume of resources going to agriculture sharply declined throughout the 1990s. One aspect of this was the substantial fall in commercial bank credit to the agriculture sector. The share of agriculture in total bank lending fell steadily from 23.8% in 1987 to an average of 14.6% in 1988-91 and to 10% in 1992-93 (M. Khor et al. 2006). There was a similar sharp decline in the share of agriculture in public expenditure. As a component of budget spending on economic services, agriculture declined from 27.3% in 1990 to 10.8% in 1998. Food and livestock output grew consistently less than agriculture as a whole, averaging only 1.2% over the 1990-1995 period, and with large fluctuations in output. While there have been increases in tubers averaging 10%, there have been sharp declines in cereals, with production of maize and millet falling 7% and rice almost 3% (Hutchful 2002). Between 1983 and 1998, the contribution of agriculture to GNP declined from 53% to 40.6% (M. Khor et al. 2006). Another indication of the poor performance in the sector is the critical state of the agroprocessing industries, which have operated, depending on the industry and factory, at anywhere from 5 to 30 per cent of capacity. According to Hutchful 2002 the sector was said to be suffering from deteriorating terms of trade, exacerbation of rural income differentials, reduced fertilizer use, fragmentation of holdings, lack of growth in crop yields, massive encroachment on forests in the Western
10 Region, and increasing imports of certain agricultural raw materials capable of being produced locally. Some of these negative developments may be blamed on the nature of World Bank policy reforms, which have been piecemeal and often contradictory, with poor coordination and questionable sequencing. Abolition of subsidies reduced fertilizer consumption at the moment when the World Bank itself was advocating intensification, and reductions in consumption in turn helped to defeat the privatisation of the input sector. Price supports were also abolished, and storage construction frozen, just when the need for both became more apparent, Liberalisation of food imports, such as rice and vegetable oils (often from countries which subsidise their own agricultural exports) has had a harsh effect on local producers.
11 5 REFORMS ON GHANA’S AGRICULTURAL POLICY AND STRUCTURE
The reforms of the past 20 years have led to a transformation in Ghana‘s agricultural policy and structure. In the 1970s, before the reforms, there were price controls and non-price control measures. Parastatal organizations were involved in distribution and marketing of inputs and some agricultural products. However, with the exception of cocoa where the Cocoa Marketing Board had exclusive rights to export cocoa) these organizations competed with private traders. Reforms that started in 1983 led to many measures that reduced or ended the state‘s involvement in production, distribution and marketing of outputs and inputs, and the state‘s intervention in the market through minimum prices and provision of production and/or input subsidies. The agricultural policy or strategy programmes and documents such as the medium term agricultural development programme (MTADP) for 1991-2000 and the Accelerated Agriculture Growth and Development Strategy for 1997-2007 indicate this change in strategy and policy (Khor and Hormeku, 2006). 5.1 Input subsidies
The Ghana government used to provide significant subsidies on inputs to farmers. As part of the reform, input subsidies were phased out and their sale was privatized. In 1980 the subsidy rate on fertilizer imports was 65%. By 1984, the rate had fallen to 45%; it rose to 59% in 1985; and was phased out to zero in 1990. Fertilizers and certified seeds are the major purchased inputs used by farmers. Before 1990 the public sector had the sole responsibility for the fertilizer marketing functions but thereafter the fertilizer subsidies were completely removed and the marketing functions transferred to the private sector. One measure of the liberalisation policy which had an immediate adverse effect on farmers was the devaluation of the Ghanaian Cedis by more than 100% (an explicit condition of the IMF loan). Ghanaian crops became very cheap and attractive in the global market, and led to an export drive. Farmers were encouraged to shift from growing a mixture of traditional crops to export oriented ‗cash crops‘. These need far more inputs of pesticide, fertilizer and water than traditional crops. Farmers who spent less Ghana Cedis an acre before the liberalisation now spend more. Fertilizer prices have increased about 800%. Electricity tariffs have also been increased: Pre-liberalisation, subsidised electricity was a success, allowing farmers to keep costs of production low. These costs increased dramatically when farmers turned to cultivation of cash crops, needing more water, hence more water pumps and higher consumption of electricity. This caused huge, unsustainable losses for the Electricity Company of Ghana, which increased tariffs, but export oriented liberalisation policies, seed
12 companies and vested interest exporters looking for profits continue to push farmers in that direction. (Isaac, 2005) The seed market was well regulated, and this ensured quality in privately sold seeds too. The Ghana Seed Company (GSC), which had been established in 1979 with the primary mandate to produce and market improved seeds, was responsible for their quality and price, and had a statutory duty to ensure seeds were supplied to all regions in the nation, no matter how remote. This was closed down in 1989 when the seed industry was privatised. With liberalization, Ghana‘s seed market was opened up to global agribusinesses. These hit farmers doubly hard: in an unregulated market, seed prices shot up per acre, and fake seeds made an appearance in a big way. The import controls and the subsidies for tractors were abandoned in 1983. The prices on fertilizers increased astronomically after the removal of subsidies on agricultural inputs and consumption was reduced. The poor agricultural productivity, particularly in food crops, can partly be attributed to this. A report, ‗The Development of a New Agricultural Sector Strategy for Ghana‘, recommended a reintroduction of input subsidy on fertilizer for a special period, but it also highlighted the necessity for improved post-production facilities such as storage, infrastructure and market information. 5.2 Provision of technical services
The provision of technical services was another form of government subsidy or assistance to farmers which was eliminated by the reforms. In 1987 state provision of tractor services was ended; in 1988 the combined harvester service stopped and in 1991 state provision of land clearing services was terminated (Khor and Hormeku, 2006). 5.3 Agricultural marketing: government purchase and minimum guaranteed prices
The reforms also involved changing the system of agricultural marketing and of guaranteed pricing of some crops. Prior to the 1980s, agricultural pricing and marketing interventions were important policy instruments. To provide market outlets for farmers located in remote villages the government had established the Ghana Food Distribution Corporation (GFDC) in 1971. The GFDC bought agricultural products (especially maize and rice) from farms for distribution and bought imported agricultural products as well as agricultural export products. It traded in rice, maize, beans, groundnuts and meat products.
13 The marketing role of the state was complemented by a system of minimum guaranteed prices which were set for maize and rice. In order to determine the Guaranteed Minimum Price (GMP) a Committee on Agricultural Commodity Prices (CACP) was set up. The GFDC implemented the price scheme. In many cases, since these prices were lower than what was offered by private traders, farmers preferred to sell to private traders. The government also set the producer prices for cocoa, cotton and palm oil. As part of the reforms, many of the state trading enterprises were abolished, and the remaining ones now operate in competition with private sector operators. The Grain Warehousing Company (GWC) had been established in 1975 as a subsidiary to the bank of Ghana with the objective to store and distributes cereals. In the mid-1980s it began to purchase locally produced maize and rice and became complementary to the functions of the GFDC. With the reforms, the Guaranteed Minimum Price scheme for maize and rice was abolished in 1990. The price of cotton was based on negotiations between producers and commercial enterprises. The buying of grains by the GFDC and GWC was also brought to an end. The monopoly of the Ghana Cotton Company in buying cotton and its monopoly in cotton ginning was broken. The Ghana Seed Company (responsible for producing and distributing seeds to farmers) was abolished. The Livestock Marketing Board was also closed. With regards to cocoa, the monopoly of the Cocoa Board and its affiliated organizations was also removed. Initially the Board was the only domestic purchaser of cocoa, and had exclusive rights to export cocoa. Its monopoly in domestic purchase was ended but it still has the largest share of the market. It was expected that the private buying companies (licensed by the government) would pay higher prices than the government price; by the end of 2003 this had not yet happened, but the farmers receive cash payments from these traders instead of payment by cheque by the government. The government also introduced partial liberalization of the export of cocoa, with effect from 2000/1. Under this scheme, the licensed buying companies were allowed to export up to 30% of their purchases; however only companies that purchase over 10,000 metric tonnes of cocoa in two consecutive years were allowed to export and others can negotiate with other companies including to Cocoa Marketing Board to export on their behalf.
14 5.4 Other aspects
Subsidised credit for agriculture was also ended in 1987. In 1990 the requirement that at least 25% of commercial bank loans should go to agriculture sector was removed. Also, plantations owned by the Cocoa Board and 40 livestock farms were closed or divested. 5.5 International Standardisation
Marginalization of farmer‘s especially smallholders is further widened by their inability to handle cost and administrative burden of compliance with global standards. Large importers in Europe play a decisive role in structuring the production and marketing of primary products exported from Ghana. The requirements they specify for innovation, for instance, new product development, delivery, food safety and quality systems etc., determine what types of producers and exporters are able to compete in the export market and maintain access to the agribusiness chain (Hagen, 2003). These place smallholder producers in a marginalized position in the export sector. The pressure on individual producers is not expected to change in the near future. Government supports do not cover all resource poor producers because most producers cannot meet the minimum standard set for government support.
15 6 LIBERALISATION AND HOW IT FAILED
The World Bank was and still is a major player in influencing the development of Ghana‘s agriculture policies. The Bank is generally thought to be behind the agricultural and trade liberalization reforms, as part of its structural adjustment programme tied to loans provided to Ghana. It is thus interesting to look at the Bank‘s own assessment of the reforms as well as its own description of its role. In its Ghana country assistance review (June 1995), the Bank described Ghana‘s approach to agricultural development before the reforms as being ―reflected by input subsidies, heavy output-taxes, administered prices, marketing by public monopolies and processing by public enterprises for rubber, palm oil, rice and other crops.‖ It disapprovingly commented that farm prices were too low, processing too costly, and for several years prior to 1983, cocoa growers received less than a fifth of the value of their output. It concluded that the results of these policies included a ―catastrophic deterioration of infrastructure and institutions, the gradual replacement of official commerce by parallel marketing and a retreat by farmers into subsistence production. Official cocoa exports fell by more than half, while other official agricultural exports nearly disappeared. During the 1970s agricultural production grew less rapidly than population, The only exception was rice, which became a flourishing minor crop that enjoyed good prices and privileged access to highly subsidized inputs, including fertilizer and tractor services.‖ (World Bank 1995: p70). In the later part of the 1980s the Bank, through loan conditionalities, influenced changes in government policy including reorganizing of the Agriculture Ministry (especially in policy and planning functions), pricing and trade policy, rationalization of production parastatals, and privatization of input supply. The domestic purchasing monopoly of the Cocoa Market Board was downsized and eventually broken through a condition in the 1992 Agricultural Sectoral Adjustment Credit project. The Bank could report that from 1983 to 1995, much of agriculture had been liberalized, with food crops and inputs now largely untaxed and unsubsidized and traded in the open markets; and many of the marketing and production parastatals having disappeared or made private. It added that at end-1993 parastatals still played a dominant role in tree-crop marketing and processing (rubber, cotton, palm oil) and the Ghana Cocoa Board still monopolized export marketing (still responsible for cocoa research, extension, seed production, and the producer price set by government).
16 The Bank review showed that the reforms did not lead to the expected growth in agriculture nor to the outcomes the Bank set out to achieve. As the Bank‘s own Country Assistance Review 1995 concluded: ―Agricultural GDP estimates by the Bank suggested growth of less than 2 percent per year since 1984, far below the rate of growth of population and well below the rates targeted in the Bank strategy papers. If agricultural growth has indeed been this poor, then a key component of the strategy has had a highly unsatisfactory outcome.‖ (World Bank 1995: p72). The report said that some Bank staff privately estimate the growth rate to be about 3 per cent annually, near to the population growth rate. ―But that growth rate must also be regarded as unsatisfactory.‖ The agricultural performance did not improve much in the late 1990s. Real GDP growth in the agriculture sector increased to about 4-5 per cent in 1996-1999 (5.2% in 1996, 4.3% in 1997, 5.1% in 1998 and 3.9% in 1999). (WTO 2001, Pt I, table I.6). A more critical view of the performance of the Ghana agriculture sector under structural adjustment, and of the role of the World Bank, is provided by Hutchful (2002). It showed that despite the rhetoric of reform, the volume of resources going to agriculture sharply declined throughout the 1990s. One aspect of this was the substantial fall in commercial bank credit to the agriculture sector. The share of agriculture in total bank lending fell steadily from 23.8% in 1987 to an average of 14.6% in 1988-91 and to 10% in 1992-93. There was a similar sharp decline in the share of agriculture in public expenditure. As a component of budget spending on economic services, agriculture declined from 27.3% in 1990 to 10.8% in 1998.
17 7 CONCLUSION
It is clear that the liberalisation policies adopted by the government of Ghana played a dominant role in the agrarian crisis that is now being played out. However, this is not to say that privatisation, liberalisation and globalization are per say bad, or inherently inimical to an economy. It is the ‗one size fits all‘ brand of liberalisation adopted by the IMF and the World Bank which forces countries to privatize, liberalise and globalize without exception which has failed. Without taking into account the state of an economy, and in this case, the state and nature of the agricultural sector in Ghana, the IMF and the World Bank, with the cooperation of the Ghanaian government, embarked on mismatched reforms, which have caused misery and despair among millions of Ghanaian farmers, driving large numbers of them out of business. It is also essential to break the link between aid and liberalisation, which caused Ghana in the first place to accept the conditions of the IMF. Remember that Ghana was on the brink of a financial crisis in 80s when it applied for the IMF loan and accepted its conditions—perhaps the course of economic reform in Ghana would have taken a very different course if there was no urgent need to borrow from the IMF. The World Bank itself has acknowledged that there has not been much improvement in agricultural sectors‘ performance despite the reforms. Ghanaian farmers became more exposed to competition from cheap imports since the subsidies and assistance they had once been provided with were no longer available after the implementation of the reforms. This has had serious adverse consequences, in the case of tomato, poultry and rice. The liberalization of imports has contributed to an increase in imports that is mismatched by an equivalent increase in exports, thus leading to high trade deficits. The seriousness of the trade deficit can be seen when exports and imports are expressed as percentages of GDP. In 1995, imports were 26% of GDP and exports 22%, giving rise to a trade deficit of 4% of GDP. In 1997, the deficit had risen to 18% of GDP (imports having shot up to 44% of GDP while exports were only 26%). In 1999 the deficit moderated to 11% of GDP, but it was still very high. Moreover, Ghana is suffering from trade policy (tariff and quota) of developed countries. Thus, it is a time for African nations to work together to form strong and sustainable economic integration to have better trade for their agri-products, to safe their producers and consumers from the impact of developed nations trade policy and to enhance their development in general.
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