A Livelihood Asset Status Tracking Method for the Assessment of the Effects of a Development Programme on Agricultural Productivity and Poverty Reduction: Evidence from the Ejisu-Juaben District, Ghana

Peter Kojo Boateng

Abstract


This paper advances and discusses an innovative Livelihood Asset Status Tracking (LAST) computational method based on the sustainable livelihoods analytical framework. It then uses the method to offer a theoretically informed empirical assessment of the effects of Ghana’s Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy II (GPRS II – 2006-2009) on smallholder farmers’ ability to develop sustainable livelihoods in the face of changing environmental and socio-economic conditions of production. Often, variability in climatic conditions interacts with adverse socio-economic conditions such as disadvantageous terms of trade and poor agricultural infrastructure to undermine agricultural productivity and by extension, Ghanaian smallholder farmers’ livelihoods (Sagoe, 2006). In this study, developing sustainable livelihoods is defined by a quantitative assessment of the development of 5 key livelihood capital assets – financial capital, social capital, natural capital, physical capital and human capital. Among others, the LAST analysis reveals that although a few smallholder farmers were able to develop productive capital assets and to build viable and sustainable livelihoods through the activities of the GPRS II, a greater majority of smallholder farmers in the municipality have not been able to adequately develop capital assets for more productivity, hence maintaining extremely poor and vulnerable livelihoods.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12895/jaeid.20132.181