Identifying agricultural expenditures within the public financial accounts and coding system in Ghana

Is the ten percent government agriculture expenditure overestimated?

Ghana

Photo: Flickr, IITA

This new discussion paper just released by IFPRI is part of four country case studies supported by PIM that take a detailed look at public expenditures in agriculture, and at how the data on expenditures are captured in government financial and budget accounts. The objective of these studies is to unpack the black box of public expenditure statistics reported in various cross-country datasets, and ultimately to enable the use of existing government accounts to identify levels and compositions of government agriculture expenditures, with better understanding of what these data are in fact accounting for.

Since the endorsement of the Maputo Declaration in 2003, many African countries have reported larger government agriculture expenditure (GAE) shares. Do those reports reflect changes in actual allocations to the sector or changes in the accounting system? The 10 percent allocation of total government expenditure (TGE) to the agriculture sector that the government of Ghana claims has come under increasing scrutiny, particularly following recent budget statements that show less than 2 percent allocation to agriculture. This discrepancy reflects the confusion in defining the agriculture sector and in distinguishing expenditures of the government from expenditures of public corporations, which together makes up expenditures of the public sector. This is exacerbated by the lack of clarity in the public financial accounts and coding system for identifying and aggregating budgets and expenditures of the Ministry of Agriculture and other public departments, agencies, and corporations that carry out agricultural functions.

Full citation: Benin, Samuel. 2014. Identifying agricultural expenditures within the public financial accounts and coding system in Ghana: Is the ten percent government agriculture expenditure overestimated? IFPRI Discussion Paper 1365. Washington, D.C.: International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

This work was undertaken as part of, and funded by, the CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM) under Research Flagship 4: Policy and Public Expenditure.

 

This is a slightly modified version of the original blog from IFPRI.