The three northern regions in Ghana, covering about 17 percent of the national population, contribute to approximately forty percent of the poor in Ghana (Molini and Pierella, 2015). This is primarily due to erratic rainfall, low soil fertility, limited work outside agriculture, and limited farming activities in the dry season. To address this, Ghana’s Ministry of Food and Agriculture implemented the Northern Rural Growth Programme (NRGP), an eight year program (2008-2016) with the overall goal of achieving sustainable agricultural and rural livelihoods. The NRGP was organized under four development components: 1) Commodity Chain Development; 2) Rural Infrastructure; 3) Improving Access to Financial Services and 4) Programme Coordination, Management, Monitoring and Evaluation. The assumption of the program was that increasing farmer productivity will lead to higher output and thus incomes.
This study, designed in partnership with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, seeks to assess the impact of the NRGP on smallholder farmers’ productivity in the Upper West Region of Ghana. It also seeks to understand the impact of the program on food security in the region. As communities in the region were assigned randomly to receiving the program, the researchers use a quasi-experimental design to measure these effects, using the Ghana Living Standards Survey Round 5 dataset and collecting primary data on selected households based on a modified version of the GLSS 5 questionnaire.
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