Agriculture as a development problem in regional planning in Ghana.: A study of the Central Region.
The purpose of the study is to find out whether perspective comprehensive regional planning can facilitate the achievement of substantial and sustainable agricultural development in this country. The study starts with a general investigation of the significance of the problem of agricultural development in developing countries with special emphasis on Ghana. Here the hypothesis of the study is stated, and it is shown that the perspective comprehensive regional planning can be used in Ghana because (i) the past uncoordinated patch-up methods of planning and development or the non-interference approach of allowing the price mechanism to make and implement development decisions have proved inadequate for the purpose of agricultural development; (ii) it is seen that the state of agriculture today requires a new treatment. Most of the problems connected with agricultural development can be solved most effectively only within a long term period; (iii) as agricultural development involves technical, social, economic, cultural and other problems are generally interdependent, there is the need to have some comprehensive system to embody and cope with the different problems, (iv) finally as agricultural development always involves the translation of national objectives and policies into realities (which transformation always takes place at local level) it is found necessary that the agricultural development programme should occur within a regional framework – the region being a link between national and local level. The study goes on to make a general survey of the state and role of agriculture in Ghana emphasizing its most notable characteristics such as its subsistence nature and low productivity and its close attachment to traditionalism. It also focuses attention on the important role of Ghana’s agriculture as the main supplier of foodstuffs and raw materials fro human consumption, industry and export, and also main source of employment, domestic and foreign savings. The next stage concentrates on the tasks and problems of agricultural development. Agricultural development is seen as aiming at (i) the reduction of the inflationary pressures in the economy, (ii) correction of the imbalance in the country’s external trade accounts and (iii) creation of employment opportunities. The main problems which affect agricultural development in Ghana are seen as those connected with soils, climate, vegetation, socio-economic and cultural factors such as land tenure, marketing organization, education capital and production aids or prerequisites. This is followed by a general review and analysis of past attempts made under the Colonial Administration and the first Nationalist Government to solve the problem of agricultural development. This is done with the aim of projecting the past mistakes and omissions in the development attempts with the object of avoiding the omissions and correcting the mistakes. These preliminary reviews and investigations actually prepare the stage for the suggested approach which is carried on in the Central Region. In the next stage the methods and techniques, such as the analysis of the physical conditions, the use of the techniques of general programming, Von Thunen’s economic rent, the principles of comparative cost and cost-benefit analysis employed to demonstrate how the new approach may operate are fully elaborated. From the different analyses, techniques and methods investigated, it becomes conclusively evident that a perspective comprehensive regional development planning can facilitate the achievement of substantial and sustained agricultural development in Ghana.
A thesis presented to the Faculty of Architecture University of Science and Technology in partial fulfillment Of the requirement for the degree of Master of Science Regional Planning, 1967