An evaluation of the economic and social impart of plantation schemes in the economic development of Eastern and Western Regions of Ghana – a case study of Asutsuare Sugar Estates and Bonsaso Rubber Estates

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Plantation schemes became popular in the country following the 7-year development Plan’s objective of increased state participation in the agric - cultural sector. As part of this objective sugarcane and rubber plantations were established in the Asutsuare and Bonsano sub-regions respectively with the aim of large scale cultivation of sugarcane and rubber for processing into alcohol, sugar and tyres. This study evaluates the impact of these plantations and suggests solutions to the problems which have been encountered by these schemes in their operations to ensure their efficient functioning. It was observed that although these projects have been in existence for over 15 years, Ghana still faces acute shortages of sugar and tyres; in addition substantial expenditures of foreign exchange are still being expended on the importation of these items to supplement local production. This state of affairs has been due to various problems which have impeded the successful operation of these schemes. These problems include organization and management inadequacies, foreign exchange constraints, labour shortages and lack of adequate raw materials. The study revealed that although the plantation are large scale under-takings which are normally well established and therefore enjoy many technical economies, the role of the small holder should not be overloo1sd because their continued production of the industrial raw material is essential to supplement the output of the plantations. For example, by 1975 outgrowers in Asutsuare were contributing about 60% of sugarcane processed by the sugar fact cry. Furthermore the performances of the projects have been influenced by the economic and political environment in the country. Also, the dismal performances of these projects have due to the lack of coordination between the projects’ agricultural and industrial part.
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 Regional Planning, 1984