Corporate sustainability and food security: The impact of Foreign Direct Investments on the livelihoods of smallholder farmers in Ghana
Berg, C. ter
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This thesis studies the impact of export oriented foreign agribusinesses on the livelihoods and food security of involved smallholder farmers. This thesis is based on a case study of HPW Fresh & Dry Ltd.; a Swiss company located in Adeiso, fifty kilometers North-West of Accra. A mixed methods approach was used to collect data. Data was collected through: desk research, structured interviews among one hundred seventeen farmers, five focus groups, direct observations, semi structured interviews with specialists and stakeholders, informal conversations, and a survey among agribusinesses. The data is for a large part analyzed by means of a Cramér’s V test for nominal variables. Findings suggest that HPW scores well on the principles of inclusive business and be can be categorized in the stage of ‘Defensive CSR’. Although HPW has a dominant role in the studied value chain which can be categorized as ‘captive’, HPW’s involvement in the value chain has had a positive impact on the livelihoods of smallholder farmers supplying to HPW. The positive impact manifests itself, but is not limited to: improving farmers’ capabilities, diversifying farmers’ sales options, and providing farmers with financial benefits and a sense of security. However, this research also shows that not every group of farmers is impacted in the same way and to the same extend by HPW’s presence. The majority of the farmers still lives below the international poverty line. Policy recommendations resulting from this research, among others, include: 1) explore the possibility of differentiating and adjusting the services provided to the different farmer groups; 2) identify social or environmental priorities for companies to focus on; 3) actively search for partnerships; 4) improve farmers’ ability to finance their farm; and 5) stimulate and support (foreign) exporting companies to invest in the agricultural sector with special focus on the fruit sector.