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Philosophische Fakultät - Jahrgang 2010

 

Titel “Marketing and Market Queens”
A case of tomato farmers in the Upper East Region of Ghana
Autor Awo Martha Adimabuno
Publikationsform Dissertation
Abstract The tomato sector in Ghana has always been viewed as a potential sector for employment and income generation. In the Upper East Region, its significance was back in the 1960s when the government supported the sector with irrigation dams and a tomato processing factory. It is a key ingredient in most Ghanaian dishes so it is well consumed by both the rich and the poor. Production of tomatoes in Ghana is across the country with imports from Burkina Faso; however, the UER is the nation’s tomato basket in the dry season. So in terms of economic advantage, it is a logical assumption that tomato farmers in the region are financially sound if not rich. This is however not the case, in fact, they are the poorest and can barely provide for their families.
To find out why the situation is as it is both primary and secondary data were gathered from Ghana and BF. In employing theories on risks, power and traders’ dilemma, it was found that the tomato market is a very complex environment with considerable influence of socio-cultural factors. However, a major finding was traced from the nation’s economic crisis in the 1980s where SAPs were implemented. In the tomato sector, this led to flooding the domestic market with tomato paste from European countries thus collapsing the regions’ tomato processing factory. The market vacuum created gave way for a local market structure coordinated by powerful ‘Tomato Queen Mothers’ whose activities are facilitated by service providers. In another dimension, Burkina Faso tomato farmers do not only control about 80% of the market in Ghana but their tomatoes are preferred. In drawing on all these findings; from the global perspective to regional and the effects on the local market, presents an unattractive sector. However survival of the sector means the market players are able to make profits in one way or the other, which is a logical conclusion. Despite the fact that exploitations and power inequalities exist, the cultural norms and values, though pose a dilemma to the players, they function as disciplinary instruments’ which shape individual behaviors, enforces order in the market and subsequently useful in minimizing risks. Such dynamics generates an invisible fair playing field where power evens out for players to be satisfied with the outcomes depending on their individual interests and objectives.
But a deeper analysis questions how such profits translate into economic wellbeing. Some of the driving forces identified were known to have social significance within the local setting and therefore can not be translated into tangible economic outcomes such as; education, health or even food needs of the family. There is therefore the need for external support for the sector in order to achieve an economic role of supporting livelihoods.
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© Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek Bonn | Veröffentlicht: 17.11.2010