Development of a horticulture production chain in Western Africa: a case study of tomatoes in Burkina Faso and Ghana

C.F.A. van Wesenbeeck, V. Venus, M.A. Keyzer, B. Wesselman, D. Asare Kye

Research output: Working paper

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High economic growth and rapid urbanization are changing the nature of food systems as traditional diets based on staple foods are being replaced by more diverse food baskets that include meat, dairy products, vegetables and fruits. Urban and peri-urban agriculture is developing rapidly in response to the consumers’ new tastes and budgets, but there remains a challenge to involve more remote rural areas. Counter-seasonal production provides some of these areas with a window of opportunity to benefit from urban growth, if challenges related to quality, production costs and transport can be met. This study focuses on two production areas in Burkina Faso with a specific potential for counter-seasonal tomato production and identifies the main obstacles for the development of a horticultural chain. The two main challenges are the monopsony power of the Ghanaian traders, and insufficient road quality that leads to high losses of tomatoes due to mechanical damage. On the other hand, using a spatial-temporal simulation model to assess the effects of transport on quality, we conclude that refrigerated transport is not a necessary condition for successful trade, as climate conditions per se do not have a severe negative impact on quality. The paper reviews various options to improve the position of the Burkina Faso producers in the chain and concludes that regional diversification of exports offers the best opportunities.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
PublisherVrije Universiteit
Number of pages26
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014

Publication series

NameStaf working paper Vrije Universiteit / WP - no 14-01
PublisherVrije Universiteit


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