Abstract for: Perception of Developed Country Status and the Sustainability of Ghana’s Cocoa Supply Chain

The declaration of Ghana as Middle Income Economy in July 2011 by the World Bank, comes with a perceptual mixed-grill ever since. The general expectation is that the change in economic status will rain in Foreign Direct Investments to build factories, create jobs, and provide essential services commensurate with economic growth and development. However, industrialisation of an unplanned economy comes with its own challenges, including: migration, urban congestion, escalations in labour economics, social, and environmental disputes. This paper investigates how Ghana’s agriculture sector, specifically, the cocoa supply chain would be hit by the transition and beyond. Results from interviews and observations at the upstream suggest that the cocoa supply chain could grow weaker in the nearest future. Evidence is based on the growing farmer-household desperation and disaffection due to their exclusion in decision-making, continuous land capture by open cast/artisanal miners and loggers, corrupt attitudes and reported abuse of resources by people in authority, and many others. The paper contributes to the call for designing pragmatic policies that will empower the upstream chain partners, as a departure from the current situation where the downstream partners and politicians are perceived to be the sole beneficiaries of cocoa proceeds.