Effects of credit and credit access on smallholder maize farmer storage behavior in northern Ghana



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Kansas State University


Food insecurity affects 16 percent of the population in northern Ghana, making food security a major focus for many of the development programs in the country. A major initiative to overcome food insecurity may involve the development of effective storage systems to help farmers control the flow of their production to markets and, thus, have higher control over the price they receive. While the poor storage infrastructure in the region is known, there is lack of knowledge about the factors motivating farmers to utilize storage in spite of these conditions. The purpose of this paper is to increase understanding about storage behavior of smallholder maize farmers in northern Ghana. A review of the literature indicates credit plays a large role in storage behavior. The purpose of this thesis is to bridge the gap between literature on storage as a bank, and on storage as a way to ensure food security. Specific objectives include: i) estimating formal and informal credit’s effects on storage behavior of smallholder maize growers, and ii) examining the effect of credit at various levels of storage. This analysis is based on data collected on 527 farmers in Ghana’s four northernmost regions obtained from an agricultural production survey conducted in 2013 and 2014 by USAID-METSS – a project funded by the Economic Growth Office of the USAID mission in Ghana. Ordinary Least Squares modeling was employed to determine the marginal effects of formal and informal credit on storage. Additionally, quantile regression modeling estimated the marginal effects at different levels of storage, including the median. The results indicate that formal credit and on-farm storage had statistically significant negative effects on maize storage at both the mean and median, but only farm output proved to be statistically significant at different levels across the storage distribution. On-farm storage had a statistically significant negative effect on storage when compared to storing off-farm at facilities like local store rooms. Carryover storage from the previous year tested to have statistically significant negative effects on storage. Under the conceptual framework utilized for this study, the results suggest that using formal credit increases a household’s food security.



Post-harvest storage, Storage, Agriculture, Ghana, Access to credit

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Master of Science


Department of Agricultural Economics

Major Professor

Vincent Amanor-Boadu