Global Restructuring and Land Rights in Ghana: Forest Food Chains, Timber, and Rural Livelihoods

Synopsis

The changing political economy of land has become a central focus of debate on the dynamics of social & economic change in contemporary Africa. Much of this debate has pitted single-minded anti-statists who have put all of their faith in the "free" market against the advocates of land markets that grow or are expected to grow out of indigenous agricultural practices & land relations. This report, drawing on empirical evidence accumulated in Ghana, challenges both perspectives &, in doing so, also points to the limitations of the arguments which have been made in favor of dualistic systems of land tenure that simultaneously recognize individual & communal titles. The report paints a picture of a long history of linking land & labor in Ghana to speculative activities &, more recently, to the activities of international capital, agribusiness, international agricultural centres, & agencies of the state. It makes the case for a new approach that prioritizes domestic economic needs to provide security of livelihood.

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