OECD Development Centre Working Papers

The OECD Development Centre links OECD members with developing and emerging economies and fosters debate and discussion to seek creative policy solutions to emerging global issues and development challenges. This series of working papers is intended to disseminate the OECD Development Centre’s research findings rapidly among specialists in the field concerned. These papers are generally available in the original English or French, with a summary in the other language.

English, French

Comparative Advantage in Agriculture in Ghana

In 1957, when independence came, Ghana was one of the most advanced economies in sub-Saharan Africa. It seemed well placed to make rapid and substantial progress. In the event, economic performance was dismal, and by 1982 the economy was all but in ruins. External conditions and the weather can carry some of the blame for this. However, the fault lay mostly in internal policy, which, contrary to sound advice given by Arthur Lewis in 1953, discriminated against agriculture and increasingly inhibited market forces. Since 1983 economic reform and recovery have been under way. Here a realistic exchange rate has been central, and market forces have been resurgent. Apart from encouraging the cocoa farmer, policies have not noticeably included agriculture. Stateencouraged agricultural research and development and rural infrastructure could, however, be important, alongside soundly based industrial development ...


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