The market system in West Gonja District, Ghana, implications for local level development

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The study area – West Gonja District – is located in the Northern region of Ghana. The district is one of the largest in physical size in Ghana. Settlement are, however few and scattered. The district is served by only two all weather roads. Feeder roads linking farmer and fishing villages are few and appear more like tracks. Accessibility is, therefore, a major development problem which has a bearing on the operation of the market system. This study aims at evaluating the market system in the district from the perspective of its operation, organization and spatial coverage with the ultimate objective of underlining the implications for local level development. Using data on the origin and destination of commodities, the local sphere of influence of market is delineated. The level of market activity is also assessed. This helps us to establish the type of market existing in the district and their organisation into a system. In line with this, issues arising from weak market linkages are detailed. The organization of the meeting schedules of market as a feather conditioning the operation of the market system is also examined. It is revealed that, market in West Gonja have a restricted local service area; are characteristised by low level of market activity and that the market system is more of a dendritic set up where producers away from the major market centre are at a considerable disadvantage. Finally, the potential of the market system as a guide for local level development are highlighted. Cognizance is also taken of the constraints inhibiting these potentials. The study concludes by recommending measures which would enhance inter – district market linkages, widen the service area of market and make exchange competitive.
A thesis submitted to the Board of Postgraduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of the Degree of Master of Science in Development Planning and Management, 1990