Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science

Degree Discipline

Agriculture Economics


This description of Economic Development in Ghana is an attempt to assess the role of agriculture in the economic development of Ghana after independence in 1957.

The overall objective of this thesis is to describe the economic development in Ghana since 1957; and the specific objectives are, to describe the part played by agriculture in the economic growth of Ghana and to evaluate the success or failure in the attemp to overhaul the agriculture system in Ghana.

The main attention is focused on agriculture and manufacturing industries. Secondary data and reports have been utilized as the basis of this thesis.

In the description, an attempt has been made to review the various development plans since 1951 to 1966, and budgets of the successive governments after the fall of the first Republic in 1966.

The fact that Ghana's Agricultural output is low, and the fact that Ghana relied on a single commodity - cocoa - was recognized in the 1950's. Consequently, all the development policies aimed at overhauling the agricultural system and industrializing the economy, were thus directed to the establishment of numerous manufacturing industries. The main objective was obvious, that "transfer of labor to industrial employment creates not only an initial increase in productivity and therefore income, but also the opportunity for continuing increases in wages and incomes through steadily improving technology and productivity (29)." This reasoning lies behind the industrialization drives of many less developed countries in the 1950's and 1960's, and is explicity stated in Ghana's Seven-Year Development Plan (23, pp. 19-21).

Inspite of the massive development of, and heavy investment in the manufacturing industries, labor did not shift significantly towards industrial employment. Subsistence economy continued to prevail with the economy still reliant on cocoa. This unfortunate social anathema was caused by a variety of miscalculations and "bottlenecks."

Though wages in the manufacturing industries increased much more relatively and enough to drain labor from agricultural sector, the lack of enough agricultural output to "feed" these industries caused them to operate below capacity. Exports were too few, and insufficient, to pay for the already-deficit international balance of payments and leave enough for imports to "feed" the "hungry" industries. As a result the manufacturing industries failed to contribute to the Balance of Payments as planned.

Ghanaian politics have been fraught with change of governments. During the six-year period, 1966 to 1972, there had been three changes. These new governments initiated different economic policies, thus abandoning previous government's policies. There was no continuity and perpetuation of policies. Consequently, agriculture suffered from incomplete projects, especially because of the nature of the on-farm enterprises that are most economic in production in Ghana.

Aside from change of governments, the tradition and customs of the small farmers did not favor the new agricultural projects designed to overhaul the subsistence agriculture.

Cocoa has been the only crop which has withstood the test of time. For the past 50 years, the crop has become the back-bone of Ghana's economy. Imports of capital and consumer goods, as well as Balance of Payments, have depended mostly on cocoa export. This has been made possible because of the ease with which Ghanaian small farmers cultivated the crop. The various governments have taken interest in cocoa because the crop is solely for export, and because the demand for it on international market is high.

In the concluding chapter some suggestions have been offered as to ways and means Ghanaian agriculture could be developed. Among the suggestions are credit, marketing and storage facilities; labor intensive technology instead of capital intensive technology and continuity of policies. The most important suggestion is that all policies and or projects aimed at introducing new technology should concentrate relatively more on sociological aspects than scientific aspects because the problem of increasing output is importantly sociological and not all-together scientific.

It will be very helpful if primary studies could be conducted to find out more about problems of transforming Ghanaian agriculture.

Committee Chair/Advisor

Vance W. Edmondson


Prairie View A&M University


© 2021 Prairie View A & M University

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Date of Digitization


Contributing Institution

John B Coleman Library

City of Publication

Prairie View




To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.