Land, Labour and the Family in Southern Ghana: A Critique of Land Policy under Neo-Liberalisation

Land, Labour and the Family in Southern Ghana: A Critique of Land Policy under Neo-Liberalisation

Land, Labour and the Family in Southern Ghana: A Critique of Land Policy under Neo-Liberalisation

Land, Labour and the Family in Southern Ghana: A Critique of Land Policy under Neo-Liberalisation

Synopsis

This report is based on field work carried out in the Akyem Abuakwa area of the forest region of Ghana, a section of the country rich in agricultural land, gold, and diamonds. Through the field work which was undertaken and the empirical material generated, the author attempts to chart the processes and patterns of differentiation connected to land and land use in contemporary Ghana.

Excerpt

In recent years research on land reform has undergone a resurgence mirroring economic transformations in developing countries and the former Soviet bloc brought about by economic liberalisation and structural adjustment. These seek to bring about new institutional arrangements and reforms that give a greater role for civil society and local communities in the administration of land. This report critically examines the framework of these approaches in the light of a comparative case study located in two areas of southern Ghana. It argues that rural areas are undergoing considerable transformation at present under liberalisation and it examines the implications of this fluidity for the conception of the role of the “community” in land administration.

Evolutionary Property Rights School

The evolutionary property rights school has been highly influential in defining the World Bank's position on land reform, particularly as stated in the Bank's 1975 Land Tenure Policy Reform Programme. the document presents an ideal vision of what land reform should strive to attain.

The ideal unit of agricultural production is seen as the owner-operated family farm. This property-owning family unit is not socially defined, but it is clear that the evolutionary property rights school very much see this family in the image of the ideal American Judo-Christian conception of family. This is a nuclear two parent family, with children who help their parents on the farm with the aspiration of taking over the family farm from their ageing parents one day (Deininger and Bisnwanger, 1998). the problems of defining families, households, units of production, consumption and reproduction, one parent families, matrilineal conceptions of kin, and extended networks of kin are not considered. the farm unit is also not defined and it is presumed that the family farm consists of one contiguous unit which is passed down from parents (probably the assumption is the father) to children (probably thought of as sons). the concept of a farmer working on several different plots that were acquired in different ways from different people does not feature in this conception of farm.

The evolutionary property rights school argue that the ‘family farm’ is the most efficient unit of agricultural production and the most equitable. Family farms are seen as more efficient since family members are residual claimants to profits and thus have higher incentives to provide effort than . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.