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Econ Bull Ghana. 1971;1(1):18-30.

Some population and related problems in the Ghanaian Economy.



A detailed review of the present situation of the Ghanaian economy indicates that, in spite of a decrease in the number of people employed in the agricultural sector (which might suggest an increase in agricultural productivity according to the thesis to this effect based on experiences in developed countries), food productivity has failed to improve. This is a serious situation for a population increasing at a rate of 2.7% per year. The large percentage of school-age children (21.8% with 44.5% of the population under 15 years as of 1960) necessitating education expenditures and the heavy immigration from surrounding countries (12% of the population are immigrants and they account for 50% of the male retail traders in the country according to the 1960 census) have created 2 of the largest problems for the country's economy. In 1960, 61.8% of the adult working population was employed in agriculture and agricultural products (primarily cocoa, which accounts for over 60% of this total) yet production lagged behind demand, making Ghana a net importer of food. Future prospects for Ghana's agricultural situation indicate that increase in production (estimated in 1965 at 1.62%) is far behind the estimated necessary increase of 7.7% based on food consumption levels of 1961. Even for cocoa production which had been progressing, the prospects are discouraging due to factors such as insufficient equipment, transportation facilities and other elements related to production maintenance, as well as to a shortage of labor (caused by the Aliens Compliance Order of 1969, the government's effort to reduce the involvement of immigrants in the economy) which has yet to be filled despite high urban unemployment rates and rural underemployment. Although producer prices for cocoa increased, little evidence can be found that this provided incentive for farmers to increase production. This review indicates that the country is still waiting for the agricultural revolution to arrive which will enable its economy to support the population which is increasing so rapidly.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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