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Copenhagen Business School (2014)

What do the farmers want ? A case study on Jatropha farming as a source of livelihoods (Northern Ghana)

Aldåsen Paulina & Lars Cecilie

Titre : What do the farmers want ? A case study on Jatropha farming as a source of livelihoods (Northern Ghana)

Auteur : Aldåsen Paulina & Lars Cecilie

Université de soutenance : Copenhagen Business School

Grade : MSc in Business, Language and Culture, 2014

Résumé partiel
Biofuels have been widely praised for being a viable solution to the international energy crisis and for mitigating climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions. In this context, Jatropha Curcas (henceforth Jatropha) has been promoted as a promising feedstock for biofuel. Ghana was forecasted to become one of the largest producers of Jatropha in Africa by 2015 (Brittaine, Lutaladio 2010). However, large-scale Jatropha projects were criticised by local NGOs for issues relating to land grabbing and national food security, and were widely forced to close their businesses. Thus, today principally small-scale, participatory Jatropha projects are present in Ghana, expected to be highly favourable for rural development. However, the impact of this type of project on the local farmers involved in Jatropha farming is scarcely investigated. Therefore, the following research question explored in this thesis is : How can small-scale Jatropha farming contribute to sustainable livelihood improvements of rural farmers in Northern Ghana ? In order to tap into this topic we developed an analytical framework building on elements from the sustainable livelihoods approach (SLA) literature and value chain theory. The framework allowed for a ‘multi-level’, holistic livelihoods analysis by combining structural and social perspectives. From the theoretical strand concerned with livelihoods, DFID’s (2001) classical sustainable livelihoods framework was employed as the foundation to be able to analyse the bottom-up perspective on sustainable livelihood improvements in terms of livelihood strategies and trajectories, outcomes and objectives. We concretised the external structures with elements from value chain theory regarding value chain governance, power relations, upgrading possibilities, policies and markets. The analytical framework was employed to analyse the case of a small-scale Jatropha project, located in the West Mamprusi District in Northern Ghana - the Ghaja project. The project was initiated in 2009 with the objective to establish a local Jatropha value chain to improve the livelihoods of local farmers. Through a local, self-sustained market of Jatropha products such as oil, soap, organic fertiliser and briquettes, the project was envisioned to generate sustainable impacts on local livelihoods


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