The informal palm oil and kernel processing industry in Ghana: A safe haven or a poverty trap for women?

Jacob Obodai*, Festus Okoh Agyemang, Paul Kitson Baffour Asamoah, Abena Korang Acheampong Abaitey

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
33 Downloads (Pure)


According to the International Labour Organisation, the informal sector employs more than 60% of the world’s workforce. Due to severe gender inequality in the formal sector, women dominate the informal economy in Sub-Saharan Africa. As a result, the informal sector can help with poverty reduction efforts, especially among vulnerable groups like women. Despite a number of studies examining various businesses, the informal palm oil and kernel production industry (POKPI) has garnered little attention, especially in Ghana. We used a cross-sectional survey design and pragmatism as our philosophical approach to answer the question of whether the POKPI is a safe haven or a poverty trap for women. The perspective through which we conducted this research was the Sustainable Livelihood Approach. The findings demonstrate that the POKPI has a lot of promise for providing women with long-term livelihood options. However, if its current slew of problems is neglected, it has the potential to sink its participants into a never-ending cycle of poverty. As a result, we made some suggestions for overcoming the obstacles to positioning the POKPI as a viable livelihood plan for women.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2035046
Pages (from-to)1-18
JournalCogent Social Sciences
Issue number1
Early online date15 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Informal sector
  • oil processing industry
  • poverty
  • sustainable livelihoods
  • women


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