Contested Space: Commercial Driven Land Use Transition and Indigenous Adaptive Strategies

Type Conference Paper - African Union Conference Center
Title Contested Space: Commercial Driven Land Use Transition and Indigenous Adaptive Strategies
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2014
City Addis Ababa
Country/State Ethiopia
Ghana is docketed as one of the countries in Africa experiencing unprecedented levels of land based foreign direct investments (FDIs) dubbed “land grab”. One important aspect of the land grabbing discourse that has not explored, both in academic and policy circles in Ghana, is the adaptive livelihood strategies of those whose lands have been acquired. It is this lacuna in academic and policy research that this study sought to fill and to further stimulate discourse through an empirical field research in Yeji in the Brong-Ahafo region of Ghana. The research adopted snowball and purposive sampling techniques to select 40 displaced farmers, the traditional authorities and the manager of Smart Oil Limited. Through structured interviews and focus group discussion, the study found that majority of the displaced farmers were neither consulted nor paid compensation for their lands whiles the few who received compensation complained vehemently about its inadequacy. Sadly, many of the farmers are forced to farm on rocky lands, marshy areas and lands liable to seasonable flooding. This, according to the dispossessed, has resulted in food shortage within households, malnutrition and high living cost inter alia. Many of the youth have been rendered jobless and hence migrating to urban areas for grenner pastures. Although the displaced farmers anticipate further dispossession in the near future, farming continued to be their major living strategy but at a reduced scale. This is because almost all the displaced farmers have not acquired any formal education requisite to diversify their means of livelihood. The above revelations necessitate an immediate partnership and collaboration among stakeholder to model a means of creating middle ground that creates fertile ground for continual harnessing of FDI inflow and at the same crafting favourable atmosphere for the indigenous landholders to have sustainable livelihood.

Related studies