Making Contract Farming Arrangements Work in Africas Bioeconomy: Evidence from Cassava Outgrower Schemes in Ghana
This paper uniquely focuses on rapidly-developing domestic value chains in Africa’s
emerging bioeconomy. It uses a comparative case study approach of a public and private cassava
outgrower scheme in Ghana to investigate which contract farming arrangements are sustainable for
both farmers and agribusiness firms. A complementary combination of qualitative and quantitative
methods is employed to assess the sustainability of these institutional arrangements. The results
indicate that ad hoc or opportunistic investments that only address smallholders’ marketing
challenges are not sufficient to ensure mutually beneficial and sustainable schemes. The results
suggest that firms’ capacity and commitment to design contracts with embedded support services for
outgrowers is essential to smallholder participation and the long-term viability of these arrangements.
Public-private partnerships in outgrower schemes can present a viable option that harnesses the
strengths of both sectors and overcomes their institutional weaknesses.