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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:A political ecology of high-input agriculture in northern Ghana
Authors:Nyantakyi-Frimpong, Hanson
Kerr, Rachel BeznerISNI
Periodical:African Geographical Review (ISSN 1937-6812)
Geographic term:Ghana
Subjects:agricultural development
agricultural intensification
food security
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/19376812.2014.929971
Abstract:This study traces the trajectory of policy responses to food insecurity in northern Ghana. Historically, the path to agricultural development has been narrowly focused upon deploying technology to increase per capita food production. In the contemporary context, there is a renewed focus on a 'Green Revolution' type of agriculture. Combining village-level fieldwork and geographical perspectives in political ecology, this paper investigates farmer responses to these forms of agricultural intensification. It presents a case study of maize production technologies, which illustrates farmer perspectives on agricultural technologies. It is argued that input-intensive agriculture is deeply contradictory in the northern Ghanaian context. Agricultural intensification is not only ill-suited to the prevailing political economy and ecology of production, but also undermines small farmers' agency in solving day-to-day farming problems. The findings further reveal how high-input technologies, especially hybrid seeds, are politicized even at the household level of production. From a policy perspective, the findings suggest the strong need to encourage food security initiatives that are sensitive to local context, existing farmer knowledge, and social relations of production. More broadly, the paper contributes to the ongoing debates concerning the form and necessity for a 'new Green Revolution' in Africa. Bibliogr., notes, sum. [Journal abstract]