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Wageningen University (2009)

Peasantry and enterpreneurship : the case of smallholder farmers in Northern Ghana and the Ghana school feeding programma

Sulemana, N.

Titre : Peasantry and enterpreneurship : the case of smallholder farmers in Northern Ghana and the Ghana school feeding programma

Auteur : Sulemana, N.

Université de soutenance : Wageningen University

Grade : Master of Science (MS) 2009

Résumé
The first of the Millennium Development Goals is to halve extreme hunger and poverty by 2015. Home Grown School Feeding Programmes have been identified as potent in reducing hunger and malnutrition of children in school as well as boosting domestic food production through local procurement. It was against this background that the Government of Ghana in collaboration with its development partners and NEPAD started the Ghana School Feeding Programme. The programme targets smallholder farmers engaged in food crop cultivation to provide market for them so they will respond by increasing production and so increase their income and escape hunger and poverty. However the response to this opportunity by farmers has not been as expected. This study sought to explain this phenomenon by investigating how smallholder farmers organize their farming practices and whether the Ghana School Feeding Programme is jeopardizing or enhancing such organizing practices. To do this I made a distinction between peasants and entrepreneurs and argued for farming and markets to be seen as a socially and culturally embodied. Actor-oriented approach was adopted for the research in order to accommodate social heterogeneity and multiple realities among smallholder farmers. A qualitative case study design was employed for the study and samples were purposively selected. Data collection instruments included interviews, participant observations, focus group discussions and secondary sources like project documents and reports. In all 8 households were involved in the study, 56 people interviewed and 5 focus group discussions were conducted in a period of 3 months. Results of the study indicate that the organizing practices of smallholder farmers in northern Ghana and particularly the Kpalun community are embedded in local cultural repertoires. These cultural repertoires reflect largely the peasant mode of farming rather than the entrepreneurial mode. Trust for the local and distrust for the foreign govern relationship with the outside world including markets. The labour process is craftsman-like and allows for flexibility. These cultural repertoires that guide production decisions reinforce the autonomy of peasants which is very important given the hostile environment they operate in. Procurement under the Ghana School Feeding Programme is done by private caterers without involvement of local traders. Price and profitability drive procurement decisions rather than the origin of food. Farmers are involved in trust relations with local traders through which farm produce are distributed. The relationship between farmers and the caterer (and hence the programme) is that of distrust. Thus the school feeding market does not resonate with the organising practices of the farmers which are embedded in local cultural repertoires that reinforce autonomy. This is generally characteristic of interventions based on modernization notions ; they do not resonate with local environments. It is thus recommended that initiatives of this kind should resonate with local environments and appreciate local dynamics rather than ignoring or condemning them. It is therefore important that the design of interventions begin with what makes the clock tick locally.

Mots clés : rural development / rural sociology / small farms / entrepreneurship / peasantry / peasant farming / school meals / child feeding / school children / schools / school lunches / school breakfasts / farming / ghana / africa

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Page publiée le 28 janvier 2015, mise à jour le 19 octobre 2018