Public–private sector partnerships for improved agriculture services delivery: how do we make them work?

  • Sylvester Z Galaa University for Development Studies, Tamale.
  • Francis K Obeng University for Development Studies, Tamale.
Keywords: partnership/collaboration, public–private organizations, agricultural sector, Ghana


One of Ghana\'s main development challenges is the delivery of extension, marketing, input supply, financing and other agricultural support to smallholder farmers. Economic liberalization and institutional reforms have reduced and redefined the role of the state in services provision and the onus is now on the emerging private sector and civil society organizations to support the state in providing some of these services. This study explores the nature of existing partnership and collaborative arrangements in the agriculture sector with the view of testing the plausibility of public–private partnerships in the provision of extension services in the agriculture sector of Ghana. The findings show that although the quality of extension services can be improved and the scope expanded more than the collaborating agencies can achieve by working independently, very few well-forged partnership and collaborative arrangements exist in the agriculture sector. Collaborative arrangements in the sector are largely informal and dictated by personal or individual caprices. Although this introduces flexibility, the relationship is often less legitimate, making it difficult to enforce agreements. The lack of clear-cut structures or mechanisms of partnerships creates problems in partnership management.
Key words: partnership/collaboration, public–private organizations, agricultural sector, Ghana
Journal of Social Development in Africa Vol.19(2) 2004: 49-67

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eISSN: 1012-1080