A Feminist Political Ecology of Large-Scale Agrofuel Production in Northern Ghana : A Case Study of Kpachaa
Large-scale land acquisitions or land grabbing (as referred to by some) for agrofuel development are on the increase in developing countries in recent years and particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa. This is due to the assumptions pushed by proponents and supporters of agrofuels, one of which is that Africa has abundance of land that is idle and this has spurred significant investments in Sub-Saharan Africa for agrofuels. Recent studies and literature however have pointed to the implications this trend has had for the land and livelihoods rights of rural small scale farmers and particularly for women in sub-Saharan African countries where large-scale agrofuel expansion has taken place. This paper attempted to critically examine the impact of large-scale agrofuel development on women’s land and livelihood rights. It explores how women’s struggle for access and control over land and natural resource use in the rural community of Kpachaa in the Yendi district of the Northern region, Ghana are mediated by the complex relationship between social and gender power relations at the local level and the political dynamics at the national and global levels using a Feminist Political Ecology (FPE) approach. The findings show firstly, that large-scale agrofuel development has contributed to the ‘double dispossession’ of women in Kpachaa and a ‘tripple dispossession’ of small-scale settler farmers in Kpachaa. Secondly, it shows how gendered territory and resource rights are drawn into the global politics of agrofuels that worsens perhaps the otherwise manageable situations of these farmers. I conclude by suggesting further research in order to find out (i) how other category of groups (e.g. youth, other marginalised groups etc) have been affected by large-scale agrofuel projects in different contexts, places, spaces and at different levels. (ii) the levels of outmigration as an environmental push factor in this area as well as other areas affected by large-scale agrofuel expansion and (iii) the full extent of the impact of the project on the flora and fauna of the area. Relevance to Development Studies This paper locates itself in the current debates on the political ecology and economy of large-scale agrofuel development by attempting a feminist critique of the mainstream argument that large-scale agrofuel developments will benefit rural small-scale farmers in a context of on-going rounds of enclosure and dispossession of small scale farmers due to land grabbing.
|Keywords||agrofuels, land grabbing, feminist political ecology, land tenure, enclosure, dispossession|
|Thesis Advisor||Büscher, Bram|
|Series||Environment and Sustainable Development (ESD)|
Nibi, S.H. (2012, December 14). A Feminist Political Ecology of Large-Scale Agrofuel Production in Northern Ghana : A Case Study of Kpachaa. Environment and Sustainable Development (ESD). Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/2105/13147