Impact of diamond mining on agricultural activities in the West Akim Abuakwa Sub-Region

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This study was undertaken to determine the conditions within which both mining operations and agricultural activities within the West Akim Abuakwa Sub-region can co-exist. The main objective of the study was to ascertain the effect diamond mining activities have had on agriculture in the West Akin Abuakwa subregion as a whole. The minor objectives were: i. to review the various agricultural systems practised in the diamond mining areas of the West Akin Abuakwa sub-region; ii. to determine the consequent problems that would face agriculture in those areas after the exhaustion of the diamonds; iii. to make recommendations to solve problems likely to arise. The major findings were as follows: a. Loss of Soil Fertility: The exploitation of the diamonds has led to loss of soil fertility which is made evident by low productivity of the farmers. b. There baa been a scarcity of land for farming. c. The scarcity of farming lands has led, to increased land rent. d. The scarcity of farming lands has also led to the exodus of some farmers to ether neighbouring towns to acquire land for farming. The recommendations that were finally made in the study were that 1. There should be the rationalization of the exploitation of diamonds in the line with laws laid down by mining legislative; 2. Laws should be enacted to compel the mining companies and concession owners to practise afforestation to prevent soil erosion end also to prepare the land for future agricultural use; 3. the Government should set up a plant pool within the district so that farmers can hire those machines to plough those areas that have boon littered with mine pits. The main objective which was set out in this study has boon achieved. This is because, from the study, it has been found through interviews arid other documentary sources that mining activities within the West Akim Abuakwa Sub-region have had both beneficial end adverse effects on agricultural activities in the area. There observations have been proved statistically to be significant at some levels of probability.
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, 1985