- Professional Experiences
- CV and Downloads
- Previous activities at ZEF
- Environmental and climate change
- Social and cultural change and adaption
- Economic change and vulnerability
(West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use)
WASCAL Core Research Program (WP 3.3.): "Farmers' Perceptions & Adaptation Strategies"
- Qualitative research
- Event management
- Documentary film production
Value for the Vulnerable Market Dynamics & Sustainable Development of Smallholder Livelihoods in Northern Ghana
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
- 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.