Encouraging Non-farm Work to Increase Agricultural Commercialization in Ghana

Poverty in Ghana is generally a rural phenomenon. 37.9% of rural households are poor, compared to 10.6% of urban households. Furthermore, 78% of national poverty is in rural areas. Over 90% of these rural households depend on agriculture. However, the long dry season – especially in northern Ghana – means that farms lay idle for about seven months per year. Policy measures aiming to lift these rural households out of poverty concentrate on promoting agricultural development, especially through enhancing market integration. Agricultural policies should include measures to promote non-farm work to both increase agricultural market participation and commercialization, should seek to increase access to productivity.