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Namara R.E.,The World Bank | Hope L.,International Water Management Institute IWMI | Sarpong E.O.,Ghana Food Research Institute | De Fraiture C.,UNESCO IHE | Owusu D.,P.O. Box CT 2889
Agricultural Water Management | Year: 2014

Irrigation is a priority development agenda item in Ghana and other countries in sub-Saharan Africa. There is a genuine endeavor to increase public and large-scale private investment in the sector. The on-going smallholder-driven private irrigation development that is largely based on water lifting technologies is not yet fully appreciated. We propose that smallholders themselves can play a significant role in achieving national irrigation development plans, provided they have access to water lifting technologies, especially small motorized pumps. We analyze adoption patterns and constraints pertaining to water lifting technologies in Ghana and suggest interventions that would enhance wider dissemination. Currently, these technologies are largely accessible only to better-off farmers. The primary factors inhibiting wider application are poorly developed supply chains, lack of access to finance, high operational and maintenance costs, high output price risks, and lack of institutional support. To realize the potential of water lifting technologies, improvements are required in the entire value chain of lift irrigation systems. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Lambrecht I.,Ghana Food Research Institute | Vanlauwe B.,IITA | Maertens M.,Catholic University of Leuven
International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability | Year: 2016

Many paradigms on sustainable agricultural intensification promote a combination of different agricultural technologies. Whether such a paradigm survives in practice depends on how farmers combine these technologies on their fields. We focus on integrated soil fertility management (ISFM) and investigate how the concept is put into practice in South-Kivu, Eastern DR Congo. ISFM includes the use of improved germplasm, organic inputs and mineral fertilizer, and emphasizes the complementarities and synergies that arise when technologies are jointly applied. We investigate whether different ISFM components are applied jointly, sequentially or independently, and whether that matters for the long-term use of the technology. We use original survey data from 420 farms, and combine a descriptive statistical analysis and a factor analysis. We find that few farmers in the area have reached ‘full ISFM’, and technology application occurs sequentially rather than simultaneously. Two technology subsets can be distinguished: more resource-intensive and less resource-intensive technologies. These subsets behave as supplements rather than as complements, and adoption within and among each subset is more sequential than simultaneous. Our results imply that there is a disconnect between the theoretical arguments in the agronomic ISFM literature, and the actual patterns of ISFM application on farmers’ fields. © 2015 Taylor & Francis.

Katic P.G.,International Water Management Institute | Namara R.E.,International Water Management Institute | Hope L.,International Water Management Institute | Owusu E.,Ghana Food Research Institute | Fujii H.,Japan International Research Center for Agricultural science 1 1
Water Resources and Economics | Year: 2013

West Africa's rice imports currently satisfy 70% of the soaring local demand, worsening the food vulnerability of an increasingly urbanized population. Despite considerable rice-growing potential, lack of water control systems, access to improved seeds, agrochemicals and appropriate mechanization have resulted in modest production growth rates, unable to alter the region's dependency on imported rice. Governments aim to boost production with import duties and input subsidies. However, questions remain as to whether these policies enable the rice sector to respond to changing consumers preferences for high grade rice and to contribute to national economic growth. We present the results from a Policy Analysis Matrix (PAM) on rice production in Ghana, Burkina Faso and Niger and under three water management systems: irrigation (public scheme), supplemented rain-fed (rainfall aided by autonomously-sourced water supplies) and purely rain-fed. Our results show that policy interventions in these West African countries (i.e., input subsidies and import taxes) did not significantly enhance the profitability of rice production to farmers due to the effect of market failures (limited capital access and non-competitive market for rice) and the low quality of local milled rice. The PAM results point strongly to the importance of improving rice quality and yields through more efficient water management and post-harvest handling/processing and targeted breeding to match consumers' preferences. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Oduro-Yeboah C.,Ghana Food Research Institute | Onwulata C.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Tortoe C.,Ghana Food Research Institute | Thomas-Gahring A.,U.S. Department of Agriculture
Journal of Food Processing and Preservation | Year: 2014

Drying effect on functional properties of two plantain and cowpea varieties and suitability of their flour blends in extruded snacks was determined. The functional and rheological behaviors of (plantain:cowpea): 90:10, 80:20, 70:30, 60:40 and 50:50 blends were evaluated. The extrusion product melt temperatures were set to 90C for half-products, and 140C for fully expanded snack products. The differences in rheological properties depended on plantain and cowpea varieties. The peak viscosity for plantain flour decreased from 595.5 to 281.5 BU when blended with cowpea flour (75:25%); cowpea peak viscosities were 6 BU (Nhyira means blessings) and 13 BU (Asetenapa means good living). Paste value decreased as amount of cowpea flour blended with plantain flour increased. Pasting properties of the extrusion blends were significantly different (P<0.05) depending on the blend ratios. The level of cowpea added affected the paste, hardness properties and the expansion height of the extruded products. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Aidoo H.,Cocoa Processing Company | Sakyi-Dawson E.,University of Ghana | Abbey L.,Ghana Food Research Institute | Tano-Debrah K.,University of Ghana | Saalia F.K.,University of Ghana
Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture | Year: 2012

BACKGROUND: The rheological properties of chocolate, based upon its acceptability by consumers, are determined largely by the ingredients and their proportions used in the formulations. Milk chocolates are very popular because milk provides flavour and smooth texture to the product. This study aimed to determine the optimal ingredient formulation for vegetable milk chocolate using peanut-cowpea milk as a substitute for dairy milk. The study followed a four-component constrained mixture design, with cocoa liquor, vegetable milk, cocoa butter and sugar as the components. Lecithin and vanillin were added at a constant amount to all formulations. Critical attributes of the chocolates were evaluated using descriptive sensory tests and instrumental techniques. RESULTS: Regression models were fitted to the data, and the optimum ingredient formulation for acceptable vegetable milk chocolate was determined. The vegetable milk had significant (P = 0.05) influence on flavour, mouth feel, hardness and after taste of chocolates. CONCLUSIONS: The optimum ingredient formulation for acceptable vegetable milk chocolates was determined to be cocoa liquor (18.00%), sugar (30.75%), peanut-cowpea milk (28.93%), and cocoa butter (22.32%). The results demonstrate that it is feasible to use vegetable source milk for chocolate. The findings also provide clues for scale-up criteria for large-scale production of vegetable milk chocolate. © 2011 Society of Chemical Industry.

Allen D.,University of Leeds | Karanasios S.,University of Leeds | Slavova M.,Ghana Food Research Institute
Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology | Year: 2011

Over the last 7 years, the AIMTech Research Group in the University of Leeds has used cultural-historical activity theory (CHAT) to inform a range of research activities in the fields of information behavior and information systems. In this article, we identify certain openings and theoretical challenges in the field of information behavior, which sparked our initial interest in CHAT: context, technology, and the link between practice and policy. We demonstrate the relevance of CHAT in studying information behavior and addressing the identified openings and argue that by providing a framework and hierarchy of activity-action-operation and semantic tools, CHAT is able to overcome many of the uncertainties concerning information behavior research. In particular, CHAT provides researchers a theoretical lens to account for context and activity mediation and, by doing so, can increase the significance of information behavior research to practice. In undertaking this endeavour, we have relied on literature from the fields of information science and others where CHAT is employed. We provide a detailed description of how CHAT may be applied to information behavior and account for the concepts we see as relevant to its study. © 2011 ASIS&T.

Diao X.,International Food Policy Research Institute | Cossar F.,International Food Policy Research Institute | Houssou N.,International Food Policy Research Institute | Kolavalli S.,Ghana Food Research Institute
Food Policy | Year: 2014

Influential studies in the 1980s and early 1990s drew on the Boserup-Ruthenberg theories of farming systems evolution to argue that African countries were not yet ready for widespread agricultural mechanization. Through applying the theories of farming systems evolution and of induced innovation in technical change, this paper shows that demand for certain mechanized farming operations particularly plowing has emerged even among smallholders, suggesting that supply issues may now be the main constraint to successful mechanization. We therefore adopt a supply chain approach to analyze two types of mechanization practices in Ghana, i.e., a recent state-led mechanization program and the private sector-led service hiring market, against an international perspective by drawing on three Asian supply models. We identify two major flaws in existing policies. First, the agricultural mechanization service centers that the government promotes fail to use tractors services with sufficient intensity. Second, direct importation of agricultural machinery by the government inhibits imports of appropriate and affordable machinery. In contrast, the development of mechanized service hiring market in which medium and large scale farmers who are tractor owners provide hiring-out services to small-scale farmers represents a promising model for sustainable mechanization in Ghana. This private sector-led second model is consistent with international experiences. © 2014.

Robinson E.J.Z.,Gothenburg University | Robinson E.J.Z.,University of Dar es Salaam | Robinson E.J.Z.,Ghana Food Research Institute | Lokina R.B.,University of Dar es Salaam
Environment and Development Economics | Year: 2012

Where joint forest management has been introduced into Tanzania, 'volunteer' patrollers take responsibility for enforcing restrictions over the harvesting of forest resources, often receiving as an incentive a share of the collected fine revenue. Using an optimal enforcement model, we explore how that share, and whether villagers have alternative sources of forest products, determines the effort patrollers put into enforcement and whether they choose to take a bribe rather than honestly reporting the illegal collection of forest resources. Without funds for paying and monitoring patrollers, policy makers face tradeoffs over illegal extraction, forest protection and revenue generation through fine collection. © 2011 Cambridge University Press.

Robinson E.J.Z.,Gothenburg University | Robinson E.J.Z.,Ghana Food Research Institute | Lokina R.B.,University of Dar es Salaam
Forest Policy and Economics | Year: 2011

This paper explores the impact of the re-introduction of access restrictions to forests in Tanzania, through participatory forest management (PFM), that have excluded villagers from forests to which they have traditionally, albeit illegally, had access to collect non-timber forest products (NTFPs). Motivated by our fieldwork, and using a spatial-temporal model, we focus on the paths of forest degradation and regeneration and villagers' utility before and after an access restriction is introduced. Our paper illustrates a number of key points for policy makers. First, the benefits of forest conservation tend to be greatest in the first few periods after an access restriction is introduced, after which the overall forest quality often declines. Second, villagers may displace their NTFP collection into more distant forests that may have been completely protected by distance alone before access to a closer forest was restricted. Third, permitting villagers to collect limited amounts of NTFPs for a fee, or alternatively fining villagers caught collecting illegally from the protected forest, and returning the fee or fine revenue to the villagers, can improve both forest quality and villagers' livelihoods. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

Lambrecht I.,Ghana Food Research Institute | Asare S.,Ghana Food Research Institute
Land Use Policy | Year: 2016

For many decades, land tenure reforms have been high on the policy agenda of governments in SSA. One of the key drivers for this is the idea that simple land policy interventions could improve tenure security, which then could lead to more agricultural investment and higher agricultural productivity. Yet, land tenure interventions do not occur in a vacuum, but occur in the presence of customary tenure institutions. Based on qualitative field work in Ghana, we show that customary tenure is extremely diverse, complex and dynamic. There is a need for more recognition of this diversity and complexity by policy makers, development practitioners and researchers in order to design more effective and realistic land policy interventions. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd

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