The Economics of Post-harvest Handling and Marketing of Legumes in Ghana: the Case of Cowpea, Groundnuts and Bambara Beans.



The contribution  of  post-harvest  management  to  the  attainment  of  food  and  nutrition security in Ghana cannot be overemphasized. In this chapter the background and importance of marketing in the development  of  agriculture,  and  the  problems  and  expectations associated with the post-harvest handling and  marketing  of  legumes  are  discussed. Also highlighted  are  the  research  objectives,  scope  and  limitations  of  the  research as well as a description of the study area.


  • Background

There has been widespread public  outcry  about  the  rising  cost  of  food  in  the  country in recent times. In particularly, the prices of cowpea and groundnuts, which are  important  to  boarding  schools,  homes,  industries  and  refugee  camps,  for  instance,   continue to rise sharply on  our  markets.  Figures  1.1  and  1.2  show  the  nominal  average  price  trends  for  cowpea  and  groundnuts,  both  of  which  present  sharp  increases  from   1980.

The actual price  situations,  depicted  by  the  trend  of  price  indexes  are  also  presented in Figures 1.3 and 1.4.  The  figures  reveal  that  cowpea  prices  have  been persistently unstable with sharp  fluctuations  over  the  years.  The  annual  prices  for  groundnuts show a more stable and regular trend  than  cowpea  prices.  For  both  crops,  the price indexes for  1983  is  the  highest  portraying  the  severity  of  food  scarcity  in  the  country in that year. Although lack of data on annual prices of bambara beans made  it  impossible in this study to present an illustration of its price trend over the years, the high      price and low quality of the crop on the markets indicate similar situations over the years.


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