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Landwirtschaftliche Fakultät - Jahrgang 2016


Titel Large-scale land acquisitions for agricultural investments in Ghana - implications for land markets and smallholder farmers
Autor Elias Danyi Kuusaana
Publikationsform Dissertation
Abstract The participation of large-scale agricultural investors in African land transactions raises concerns about the impacts on a rather hitherto local and smallholder dominated land market. However, there is still limited empirical study on how large-scale agro-investments have influenced changes in land markets and smallholder participation in agricultural land markets in West Africa. Hence, this study examined how large-scale land acquisitions in Ghana have influenced land market changes and impacted smallholders; and how institutional dynamics influence land markets. The study relied on village level surveys to examine the formation of land prices. Key stakeholders interviews were used to study institutional changes in Ghana’s land markets. Focus groups discussions were used to identify winners and losers in land transactions, and to examine the nature of gains and losses.
Using stakeholder mapping, it was identified that linkages among the major institutions and stakeholders in large-scale agro-investments are weak, and the powers of the government are limited in customary grants. It was revealed that customary land transactions in Ghana are characterised by lack of - transparency, participation and accountability. The study also found that limited consultations with the village chiefs were inadequate in articulating the concerns of expropriated smallholders. Migrant farmers who use customary land without title were the most vulnerable for expropriation. Also, smallholders who are unable to prove their ownership of land are not compensated for land loss. It was revealed that total household farm size, land productivity, and trust were the main determinants of customary land prices. From the study, transaction costs of acquiring land are largely influenced by the nature of land tenure, social capital, geographical location of the land, and citizenship. For winners and losers, entrenched unequal power relations between land custodians and land users influenced who benefited more from land transactions. Chiefs and family heads entrusted with allodial titles were perceived to be gaining the most from recent land transactions, while sharecroppers, seasonal licensees especially women who cultivate land under insufficiently secure conditions were the most adversely affected.
The way forward is to undertake institutional reforms that make chiefs more transparent and accountable for their trusteeship, while limiting their enormous powers as the front-liners of land administration in Ghana. Proceeds from land transactions should be invested in social infrastructure and services for the benefit of the larger community. There is the need to deepen stakeholder consensus building, through consultations with affected communities and land users. Since land prices have tended to be discretionary, there is the need for the standardisation of ‘drink money’. Land sector reforms in Ghana should be geared towards building efficient institutional collaboration and consultation between the formal and informal sectors, while improving transparency and accountability among the major stakeholders at all levels.
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© Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek Bonn | Veröffentlicht: 17.10.2016