26.09.2011 | ZEF and DIE: Joint Lecture "Local responses to an agrarian crisis: Evidence from northern Ghana"

The majority of people living in northern Ghana depend on rainfed agriculture often on intensively cultivated degraded lands using traditional methods and technologies of farming. Once upon a time, agrarian livelihood systems provided adequate food for feeding and surplus for southern markets. The surplus agrarian system over the years beginning from the late 1970s has been faltering in achieving these objectives. An extended agrarian crisis typical of much of Sub Saharan Africa characterize northern Ghana with declining agricultural productivity, increasing poverty, rising food insecurity, multiple livelihoods and intensified forced out migration.

The agrarian crisis of the 1980s is however different in terms of causes from that of the 1970s as global commodity chains intensified under globalization with negligible state support for food crop production. Rural northern Ghanaians are active agents who employ a range of strategies in response to adversity. The agrarian livelihoods of old are given way to a flexible combination of different livelihood portfolios in reflection of the political economy of Ghana and the world as a whole. Responses have been reactionary, planned, anticipated, successful, failure, short term and long term, depending on the purpose of categorization. The dynamics of these responses in terms of social differentiation, determinants and outcomes constitute the focus of this presentation.

With: Dr. Joseph A. Yaro (Senior Lecturer, Department of Geography and Resource Development,University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana)

Time: Monday, September 26, 2011, 2 p.m. – 3.30 p.m.

Location: ZEF, right conference room, ground floor