Access to land for sustainable agricultural development - case study of the Krachi district of Ghana

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This study focuses on access to land for sustainable agricultural development in the Krachi District of Ghana. It looked at the tenurial arrangements; traditional customary landholding and public tenurial systems and their relationships with improvement in agriculture and the living conditions of the people. The various bottlenecks hindering the achievement of sustainable agricultural development were examined. By way of methodology, the study was based on desk work, interviews through questionnaire to various categories of respondents including farmers, (male, female, indigenes and migrants, subsistence and commercial), opinion leaders, chiefs and landowners and agricultural Extension Front Line staff. Observational method and Participatory Rural Appraisal techniques were also used to obtain supplementary data. The study established that sustainable agriculture is thwarted by economic, institutional and technological and environmental problems. It was also detected that access to land in the traditional set up were relatively favourable to prospective farmers. However, the procedural arrangement could be onerous and time involving. On the other hand, government acquired agricultural lands for resettlement were beset with inequities resulting in landlessness of some indigenes (Asukawkaw, Banda, Grubi area) contrary to generally held views that land was always available to natives for cultivation. This state of affairs has created social upheavals in the form of land disputes (Apesukobi vrs Asukawkaw) and detachment from traditional homes through mass emigration to neighbouring districts. All these had culminated in low incomes, low endogenous development manifested in the near neglect of culture of maintenance” of some of the few communal facilities such as schools, toilets among others that were provided under the resettlement scheme. Policy implication that could be derived include a. access to land alone does not necessarily lead to sustainable rural development or sustainable agriculture; and b. resettlement schemes do not always lead to sustainable rural development. Therefore for sustainable agricultural development, as a strategy of Krachi District development to be achievable, there is the need to revitalise agriculture by a maze of packages including infrastructural provision, inputs supply, marketing, credit and extension service. On the other hand, the district need to redefine and redirect her development aspirations through poverty alleviation programmes, integrating communities and NGO’s in the development effort, adopting integrated development programmes creating congenial atmosphere for qualified public and civil servants to work as well as inculcating environmental consciousness and restoration awareness in the people.
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 Development Planning and Management, 1995