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Selorm Kugbega_How global crises affect smallholders and SMEs.pptx

  1. Smallholder resilience in the midst of global and domestic shocks Lessons and reflections from fieldwork in Ghana - Selorm Kobla Kugbega
  2. Notable Domestic and Global crises in Ghana/ SSA • Fall army worm infestation (2016/2017)-production related crisis • Covid-19 (2020-date)- primarily market/demand related crisis • Economic shocks- occurred concurrently with Covid (2020-date)- market and production related crises • Effect-Eg: Outgrowers tied to international corporations have contracts cancelled and left with non-edible cassava, sorghum produced for industrial purposes eg starch, beer
  3. Notable Domestic and Global crises in Ghana/ SSA • Droughts and floods in northern Ghana, Kenya (2020-date)-production related crisis • Recurrent productivity boom-bust cycles: Incentive-based productivity boom without commensurate market demand leading to price collapse • Farmer-herder conflicts (2055 to date Southern plains of Ghana, Northern Nigeria)- affects production but also the food value chain including transport and functional markets
  4. Three modes of adaptation • Household level adaptation • Production related adaptation • Market/value chain adaptation
  5. Household Level Adaptations • Production and consumption of indigenous vegetables and crops of low commercial value such as millet, sorghum, Bambara beans (Dominated by women) • Intrahousehold re-allocation of factors of production ie labour, capital, machinery, fertilizers • Priority is given to the family farm controlled by men. Low prioritization of women and youth farms • Migration- to cities, Libya and onward to Europe for youth- incomes reinvested in cash crop farming “I am too old else I would have journeyed to Libya myself….. Farming is difficult and the returns are low. I am saving now to support my son on his journey to Libya. I hope he gets to Italy”- 62 year-old farmer • Customary pledges for migrants and the most vulnerable farmers- mortgage farm land and future farm produce for money- risk of perpetual debt cycles
  6. Production- related adaptations • Alteration of traditional planting and harvest cycles- creation of minor season/off season smallholder experts who seek to avoid food price collapse due to oversupply during the major season • Non-traditional tree crops- the new frontier of smallholder resilience (cashew, coffee, teak- Increased incomes but threatens food security) • Produce demand and supply projections Ie • “if we think cassava will be in high demand, we plant it and time its harvest for a period where demand is lowest but many others could have thought same leading to an over supply” 58 year-old farmer • Farm expansion despite farmer-herder conflicts- • Logic: Better to have the remainder of a big farm than have a small farm totally destroyed by cattle.
  7. Market and value chain adaptations • New markets eg: digital value chains/e-commerce platforms • Led by small and medium scale enterprises that have capacity for vale addition eg. Packaging, destoning grains • Mixed farming: small ruminants, poultry- • “I don’t sell my maize anymore. I am tired of bad market prices. I prefer to feed my sheep, goats and poultry with the maize harvest”-51 year old farmer • Direct links to corporate consumers- offices and schools • Requires micro-processing and packaging- to meet demands of corporate clients/offices • Cooperative-based produce marketing • Eg: Sale to state grain purchasing companies and agribusinesses • Requires adherence to high quality standards
  8. Final Thoughts • Easy to be caught in the recurrent dialogue around global shocks ie economic, climate, covid. • But small farmers experience shocks at different levels and these shocks may occur at the same time • Variations within smallholders- men, women, youth have different modes of adaptation • But adaptations in themselves may present problems- eg: a move away from food crops in favour of tree crops may bring food insecurity challenges • Need to emphasise multilevel adaptation (household, farm/production, market/ value chain) rather than single target adaptation • An eclectic approach (draws on multiple local and technocratic strategies) is key to smallholder resilience