Title: Mining and agriculture in Ghana: a contested terrain

Authors: Fred Owusu-Ansah; Richard C. Smardon

Addresses: Department of Environmental Management, School of Natural Resources, University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR), P.O. Box 214, Sunyani, BA, Ghana ' Department of Environmental Studies, SUNY-ESF, 106 Marshall Hall, 1 Forestry Drive, Syracuse, NY 13210-2787, USA

Abstract: There is a growing concern that mining is decreasing agricultural lands and crop production, and thereby contributing to periodic food shortages in Ghana. This study combined evidence from literature, national-level data (1989-2007) and empirical findings. The national-level data was analysed using SAS version 9.2, including trend analysis, simple linear regression and correlations. The research question was: is there a relationship between expansion of the area under mineral concession (mining) and decline in national crop production? Results revealed that increases in both mineral output and crop production have closely followed expansions of the area under mineral concession. At the national level, no statistical evidence was found to support the argument that mining has reduced total acreage cropped. However, a statistical relationship was found to exist between expansion in area under mineral concession and decline in production of the staples: maize, sorghum and cocoyam (cocoyam: R² = 0.8086, r = −0.8992, p = 0.0378; maize: R² = 0.7655, r = −0.8749, p = 0.0502; sorghum: R² = 0.4098, r = −0.64015, p = 0.0249). We subscribe to the notion that resource curse occurs conditionally, and may be offset by proactive policies, initiatives and sufficiently good institutions.

Keywords: economic recovery program; ERP; mining industry; agriculture; resource curse; Ghana; agricultural land; crop production; food shortages; mineral concessions; maize; sorghum; cocoyam.

DOI: 10.1504/IJESD.2015.072087

International Journal of Environment and Sustainable Development, 2015 Vol.14 No.4, pp.371 - 397

Accepted: 22 Dec 2014
Published online: 12 Jul 2015 *

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