chapter  7
27 Pages

The Ghanaian state and inclusive upgrading in the global cocoa chain: Anna Laven

For farmers, value chain development promises a better way of securing markets as well as adding value to their products. But research on agro-commodities shows that value chains often exclude the most vulnerable farmers – among them landless farm workers and women – and those who are included in the chains often benefit only marginally (cf. Gibbon and Ponte 2005). Research also indicates a long-term trend of exclusion from value chains among farmers who fail to meet rising scale and standard requirements (cf. Altenburg 2006: 508). This recognition of the varied success in reaping gains from globalization has opened discussion on social ‘inclusion’ and ‘exclusion’ and on the reasons behind unequal benefits received by the different actors (cf. Giuliani et al. 2005: 6; Knorringa and Pegler 2006; KIT et al. 2006; Nadvi and Barrientos 2004). This study uses the case of cocoa in Ghana to analyse how governance in international cocoa chains – driven by a combination of concentration, sustainability standards and uncertainty in global sourcing – combines or contrasts (i) with interventions and regulations by the state at the national level and (ii) with social organization and performance at the local, farmers’ level. The case study focuses on the capacity of the state to solve problems. It shows that a national state can stand between local producers and global buyers of cocoa.1