The effects of large-scale land acquisition for jatropha plantation on small-scale farmers in rural communities in the Asante Akim North District

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From the hypothetical perspective, the phenomena of large-scale land acquisition for jatropha plantations may or may not affect small-scale farming but from the empirical point of view, the phenomena have been shown to have had diverse effects on small-scale farming within project communities. The implications could have interfering effects on household agriculture leading to reduced access to land, increased cost of land and change in farming systems among others. The study therefore examined the effects of large-scale land acquisition for jatropha plantation on small scale farmers in the Asante Akim North District. The study also sought to understand the processes that went into the large-scale land acquisition in the study area. The study is presented in five chapters. The study was an exploratory research that investigated the effects of large-scale land acquisition for jatropha plantation on small-scale farmers. The study therefore adopted the mixed research design using a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods to answer the research questions. The study adopted the pre-post research design to measure the effects of large-scale land acquisition on small-scale farmers. The selected communities include Dukusen, Afrisie, Ananekrom and Baama. The units of enquiry were purposively selected based on their presence in the study communities and their engagement in small-scale farming at least four farming seasons before and after the land acquisition. In all, 120 respondents were selected for the study from the four study communities. Ten key informants were also selected at the institutional level for interview on the process of land acquisition. A response rate of about 96% was obtained for the analyses. Data were collected through field observations, household questionnaires and key informants‟ interviews. Telephone Assisted Interviews (TAIs) were also done to validate some of the responses collected through direct interviews. Frequency and percentage distributions and analysis of variance (ANOVA) using Paired Sample Test to validate the strengths of the effects of large-scale land acquisition on small-scale farmers were applied in data analysis. The study found that: the minimum of 750,000 acres (303,514.7 hectares) of land said to be acquired by the Company was actually an aggregate or a summation of the projections of the proportions of land to be operated by the Company (Scanfuel Ghana Limited) from 2008 to 2017. The entire land acquisition process by the Company was fair and largely followed guidelines put in place by the Customary Land Secretariat and the Lands Commission amidst few post-acquisition agitations due to the encroachment of individual and family lands within project communities. Local participation in the process of the land acquisition was overlooked. The effects large-scale land acquisition on farmers‟ household economy (production, consumption, incomes (farm and non-farm) and expenditures (food and non-food) was mixed. However, farmers‟ household economy has improved after the large-scale land acquisition. The study therefore found household food security has relatively reduced after the large-scale land acquisition by the Company. It is concluded therefore that farmers‟ access to agricultural land is diminishing as a result of large-scale land acquisition by the Company. It is recommended therefore that the Traditional Authorities should exercise restraint in the customary disposition of land in the name of financial gains.
A thesis submitted to the School of Graduate Studies Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Development Policy and Planning.