SYSTEMIC APPROACH TO EXAMINE THE STRUCTURE, CONDUCT AND PERFORMANCE MODEL OF AGRICULTURE IN AFRICA, EVIDENCE FROM GHANA
Keywords:allocative efficiency, market analysis, policy decision, market information, business survival.
The continuous growth in population and consumption, the intensity of competition for land, water, and energy, and the overexploitation of the ecosystem, have affected Ghana’s ability to sustain food security and it natural resources. Over the years, many promising agricultural development initiatives could not provide sustainable solutions to agricultural challenges in most parts of Africa, including Ghana, leading to food system failures. The agricultural industry is a complex system and requires a holistic approach to dealing with root causes of challenges. This research therefore uses systems thinking tools including Casual Loop Diagrams (CLDs) and Bayesian Belief Network (BBN) modelling to develop new structural systems models where stakeholders determined the components and interactions between the Structure, Conduct and Performance (SCP) of the agricultural industry in Ghana using the Evolutionary Learning Laboratory (ELLab). The results illustrates how the SCP elements interact together to influence the survival and growth of the agricultural industry among driving forces. The study identifies that stakeholders adopt several strategies to survive and compete, which lead to the overexploitations of the ecosystem. The results from BBN models indicate that the implementation of systemically determined interventions, policies and strategies could significant improve the rate of business survival and growth from 58.8% to 73%, while the chances of improving the SCP could be increase from 39%, 28.3% and 36.4% to 80.1%, 55.9% and 62.4% respectively. This paper contributes to the systemic approach to SCP in that, the improvement of production and allocative efficiency may usher a greater potential for improving food security and the natural resources and further strengthen agricultural sustainability.