Jan-Niklas Bamler

Degrees / expertise

Diplom Geograph


Bamler, J.-N. Market Structures and Sustainable Livelihoods Interactions, Implications and Opportunities for Tomato Farmers at the Tono Irrigation Scheme (Navrongo, Ghana). Unpublished Master thesis at Christian Albrechts Universität zu Kiel.


Bamler, J.-N.. 2013. Von Generalisten und Opportunisten: (Über-)Lebensstrategien und gesellschaftliche Entwicklungshemmnisse im Norden Ghanas. Geographische Rundschau, 65 (10): forthcoming.
Eguavoen, I., J.-N. Bamler, A. Germer, K. Schulz and J. Wahren. 2013. The politics of adaptation in Burkina Faso and Ghana.


Bamler, J.-N.. 2010. Italienische Verhältnisse: Auf der Suche nach dem ghanaischen Tomatenmarkt. FoodFirst, 2: 1. Download [PDF]

Research themes
  • Environmental and climate change
  • Social and cultural change and adaption
  • Economic change and vulnerability
Research countries
  • Ghana
Research topic
Value Chains, Sustainable Livelihoods, Vulnerability Analysis
Working groups

WASCAL Core Research Program (WP 3.3.): "Farmers' Perceptions & Adaptation Strategies"

Professional experience

- Qualitative research

- Event management

- Documentary film production


Diplom Geograph

Funding institutions
Thesis title

Value for the Vulnerable Market Dynamics & Sustainable Development of Smallholder Livelihoods in Northern Ghana

Thesis abstract

Ghana is the fastest growing economy in the world with a vivid agricultural market. However, chronic hunger and poverty are still omnipresent in the rural areas of the north and despite new government and development intervention the prosperity gap is growing. Part of the problem is a duality of physical and social “hazards”, namely environmental change and degradation, market liberalization and lacking access that severely challenge the assets and adaptation processes of smallholder farmers in northern Ghana.


Theory: Markets & Farmers


How do and could market interventions and dynamics influence “sustainable development” of the vulnerable and poor in emerging economies?


I believe an answer can be found when looking at how individuals and groups with their specific assets decide and how they are exposed to a vulnerability and institutional context within a social and physical locality. At local scale these elements alter the way people are embedded into markets, thus value chains. Their dynamics, captured by value chain analysis, determine important parts of livelihood outcomes and allow a look beyond local to regional and global scale. The outcomes of selected value chains and livelihood strategies are to be benchmarked by an PRA indicator system based of the normative principles of the Sustainable Livelihood Framework (income, food security, vulnerability, well-being, sustaining of the natural ressource base and resilience towards climate change).


Methods & Data Outcome


Vulnerability analysis needs a place-based, multi-methodic PRA approach. Focus Group Discussions (n=39) and farmer interviews (n=28) were therefore the primary source of data gathered during a 10 month field trip to 2 communities (Biu & Mirigu). 47 Farm budgets helped to understand constraints farmers face. Key-informant interviews (n=70) and expert discussions (n=2) were used to broaden insights. A household survey (n= 177) and an expert survey (n≈60) was used to quantify and check hypothesis generated in the previous phase. Data for the reconstruction of tomato, chilly, rice, shea value chains was collected at all scales. Maps were made where appropriate


Intermediate Results


- Climate change is being adjusted to, but it may be a return to a former climatic state.


- Socio-economic, kinship and gender inequalities and agricultural strategies are interwoven.


- Spatial, social marginalization limits possibilities and defines exposure to climate change, undermining new market opportunities.


- Institutional malfunctioning and elite capture are prime obstacles.

Doctoral research funded by

Jan-Niklas Bamler

Former Junior Researcher