Advertisement

GeoJournal

, Volume 77, Issue 5, pp 681–694 | Cite as

Are migrants exceptional resource degraders? A study of agricultural households in Ghana

  • Samuel Nii Ardey Codjoe
  • Richard E. Bilsborrow
Article

Abstract

Although some scholars describe migrant farmers as ‘exceptional resource degraders’ others do not. This paper uses evidence from the transitional agro-ecological zone of Ghana, to examine whether there are substantial differences between households of migrants and the host population regarding agricultural land use. The aim is to determine whether migrants are more destructive of the land (and hence the environment) than the host population. This will be examined using a standard model of the determinants of agricultural land use, to which we add variables representing demographic impacts, including in-migration. The data used are from a household survey undertaken in 2002 among 110 migrant and 142 host population farming households in central Ghana. Results are mixed. We find no support for the hypothesis that households with migrants are less likely to consider the long-term effects of land use by increasing the land area in cultivation, but at the same time there is evidence of use of more land-intensive agricultural practices which tend to degrade farm land over time.

Keywords

Environment Agricultural land use Intensification Migrants Host population Ghana 

References

  1. Agyare W. A. (2004). Soil characterisation and modeling of spatial distribution of saturated hydraulic conductivity at two sites in the Volta Basin of Ghana. Ecology and Development Series, No, 17. Gottingen: Cuviller Verlag.Google Scholar
  2. Amacher, G. S., Cruz, W., Grebner, D., & Hyde, W. F. (1998). Environmental motivations for migration: Population pressure, poverty and deforestation in the Philippines. Land Economics, 74(1), 92–101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Angelsen, A., & Kaimowitz, D. (2001). Introduction: The role of agricultural technologies in tropical deforestation. In A. Angelsen & D. Kaimowitz (Eds.), Agricultural technologies and tropical deforestation (pp. 1–18). New York: CABI/CIFOR.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Barnum, H., & Squire, L. (1979). An econometric application of the theory of the farm household. Journal of Development Economics, 6(1), 79–102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Begossi, A. (1998). Resilience and neo-traditional populations: The caicaras (Atlantic Forest) and caboclos (Amazon, Brazil). In F. Berkes & C. Folke (Eds.), Linking social and ecological systems: Management practices and social mechanisms for building resilience (pp. 129–157). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Benneh, G. (1997). Toward sustainable agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa. issues and strategies. IFPRI Lecture Series 4. Washington, DC: International Food Policy Research Institute. http://www.ifpri.org/pubs/pubs.htm#lecture.
  7. Bilsborrow, R. E. (1987). Population pressures and agricultural development in developing countries: A conceptual framework and recent evidence. World Development, 15(2), 183–203.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bilsborrow, R. E., & Carr, D. L. (2001). Population, agricultural land use, and the environment in developing countries. In D. R. Lee & C. B. Barrett (Eds.), Tradeoffs or synergies? Agricultural intensification, economic development and the environment (pp. 35–56). Wallingford, Oxon, U.K.: CABI Publishing Co.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bilsborrow, R. E., & Geores, M. (1992). Rural population dynamics and agricultural development: Issues and consequences observed in latin America. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University, Population and Development Program, and International Institute for Food, Agriculture and Development.Google Scholar
  10. Binswanger, H., & McIntire, J. (1987). Behavioral and material determinants of production relations in land-abundant tropical agriculture. Economic Development and Cultural Change, 36(1), 73–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Bonsu, M. (1992). A study of texture-based equation for estimating the saturated hydraulic conductivity of an Alfisol in the Sudan savannah ecological zone, Ghana. Hydrological Sciences, 36(6), 599–606.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Boserup, E. (1965). The conditions of agricultural growth. London: Allen and Unwin.Google Scholar
  13. Broad, R. (1994). The poor and the environment: Friend or foes? World Development, 22(6), 811–812.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Camp, S. L. (1992). Population pressure, poverty and the environment. Integration, 32(1), 24–27.Google Scholar
  15. Carr, D. L. (2006). A tale of two roads: Population, poverty, and politics on the Guatemalan frontier. Geoforum, 37(1), 94–103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Cassels, S., Curran, S. R., & Kramer, R. (2005). Do migrants degrade coastal environments? Migration, natural resource extraction and poverty in North Sulawesi, Indonesia. Human Ecology, 33(3), 329–363.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Codjoe, S. N. A. (2006). Migrant versus indigenous farmers. An analysis of factors affecting agricultural land use in the transitional agro-ecological zone of Ghana, 1984–2000. Danish Journal of Geography, 106(1), 103–113.Google Scholar
  18. Davis, K. (1963). The theory of change and response in modern demographic history. Population Index, 29(4), 345–366.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Dickson, K. B., & Benneh, G. (1995). A new geography of Ghana. Malaysia: Longman.Google Scholar
  20. Ehrlich, P., & Ehrlich, A. (1990). The population explosion. NY: Simon and Schuster.Google Scholar
  21. Entwisle, B., Walsh, S. J., Rindfuss, R. R., & Chamratrithirong, A. (1998). Land-use/land-cover and population dynamics, Nang Rong, Thailand. In D. Liverman, E. F. Moran, R. R. Rindfuss, & P. C. Stern (Eds.), People and pixels. Linking remote sensing and social science (pp. 121–144). Washington, D.C: National Academy Press.Google Scholar
  22. Fearnside, P. M. (1986). Spatial concentration of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon. Ambio, 15(1), 74–81.Google Scholar
  23. Futemma, C., & Brondı′zio, E. S. (2003). Land reform and land-use changes in the lower Amazon: Implications for agricultural intensification. Human Ecology, 31(3), 369–402.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Gilbert, G. (Ed.). (1999). An essay on the principle of population, Oxford world’s classics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  25. Grigg, D. (1992). World agriculture: Production and productivity in the late 1980 s. Geography, 72(1), 97–109.Google Scholar
  26. Gruhn, P., Goletti, F., & Yudelman, M. (2000). Integrated nutrient management, soil fertility, and sustainable agriculture: Current issues and future challenges. Food, Agriculture, and the Environment Discussion Paper 32. International Food Policy Research Institute, 2033 K Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20006 U.S.A. http://www.ifpri.org/2020/dp/2020dp32.pdf.
  27. Hecht, S. B., Kandel, S., Gomes, I., Cuellar, N., & Rosa, H. (2006). Globalization, forest resurgence, and environmental politics in El Salvador. World Development, 34(2), 308–323.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Hill, P. (1963). Migrant Cocoa farmers of Southern Ghana. Cambridge University Press: London.Google Scholar
  29. Hill, P. (1998). The Migrant Cocoa-farmers of Southern Ghana. LIT Verlag: Berlin.Google Scholar
  30. Hoerz, T. (1995). The environment of refugee camps. A challenge for refugees, local populations and agencies. Refugee Participation Network, 18(1), 17–19.Google Scholar
  31. IUCN. (2000). IUCN-CEESP environment and security task force briefing. Presented at the world conservation conference, Amman.Google Scholar
  32. Jacobsen, K. (1994). The impact of refugees on the environment: A review of the evidence. Washington, D.C: Refugee Policy Group.Google Scholar
  33. Ketel, H. (1994). Tanzania: Environmental assessment report of the Rwandese refugee camps and the affected local communities in kagera region, 2–30 June 1994. PTSS Mission Report 94/29 N. Geneva: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.Google Scholar
  34. Leach, M. (1992). Dealing with displacement: Refugee-host relations, food and forest resources in sierra leonean mende communities during the liberian influx, 1990–91, IDS research reports no. 22. Brighton: Institute of Development Studies.Google Scholar
  35. Lein, H. (1993). Floods, agricultural change. Some observations from Bangladesh: 1986–1990. Norwegian Journal of Geography, 4(1), 30–42.Google Scholar
  36. Lele, U., & Stone, S. W. (1989). Population pressure, the environment and agricultural intensification: Variations on the Boserup hypothesis. Madia Discussion Paper 4, Washington D.C.: World Bank.Google Scholar
  37. Malthus, T. 1798 and 1803, (republished 1960). On population (First essay on population, 1798, and second essay on population, 1803). New York: Modern Library and Random House.Google Scholar
  38. Meadows, D. H., Meadows, D. L., Randers, J., & Behrens, W. W., III. (1972). The limits to growth. A report for the club of Rome’s project on the predicament of mankind. New York: Universe Books.Google Scholar
  39. Mortimore, M., & Turner, B. (2005). Does the Sahelian smallholder’s management of woodland, farm trees, rangeland support the hypothesis of human-induced desertification? Journal of Arid Environments, 63(3), 567–595.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Mulley, B. G., & Unruh, J. D. (2004). The role of off-farm employment in tropical forest conservation: labor, migration and smallholder attitudes toward land in Western Uganda. Journal of Environmental Management, 71(3), 193–205.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Myers, N. (1997). Environmental refugees. Population and Environment, 19(2), 167–182.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Nepstad, D., Alencar, A., Capobianco, J. P., Bishop, J., Moutinho, P., Lefebvre, P., et al. (2001). Road paving, fire regime feedbacks, and the future of Amazon forests. Forest Ecology and Management, 154(3), 395–407.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Ostrom, E., Burger, J., Field, C. B., Norgaard, R. B., & Policansky, D. (1999). Sustainability—Revisiting the commons: Local lessons, global challenges. Science, 284(5412), 278–282.Google Scholar
  44. Overseas Development Institute. (1991). Environmental change and dryland management in Machakos District, Kenya, 19301990. Profile of technological change. Working Papers 53–63. London.Google Scholar
  45. Pan, W. K. Y., & Bilsborrow, R. E. (2005). The use of a multilevel statistical model to anlayze factors influencing land use: A study of the Ecuadorian Amazon. Global and Planetary Change, 47(2–4), 232–252.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Perz, S. G. (2003). Social determinants and land use correlates of agricultural technology adoption in a forest frontier: A case study in the Brazilian Amazon. Human Ecology, 31(1), 133–165.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Pichon, F. J. (1997). Settler households and land-use patterns in the Amazon frontier: Farm-level evidence from Ecuador. World Development, 25(1), 67–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Pingali, P. L., Bigot, Y., & Binswanger, H. P. (1987). Agricultural mechanisation and the evolution of farming systems in Sub-Saharan Africa. Washington, D.C: The World Bank.Google Scholar
  49. Postel, S. (1998). Global view of a tropical disaster. American Forests, 44(1), 25–29.Google Scholar
  50. Repetto, R. (1987). Population, resources, environment: An uncertain future. Population Bulletin, 42(2), 3–43.Google Scholar
  51. Rindfuss, R. R., Walsh, S. J., & Entwisle, B. (1996). Land use, competition, and migration. Paper presented at the population association of America meeting, New Orleans, Los-Angeles.Google Scholar
  52. Roy Chowdhury, R., & Turner, II B. L., . (2006). Reconciling agency and structure in empirical analysis: Smallholder land use in the Southern Yucatan, Mexico. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 96(2), 302–322.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Rudel, T. K. (1983). Roads, speculators, and colonization in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Human Ecology, 11(4), 385–403.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Ruttan, V. H. (1994). Sustainable agricultural growth. In V. W. Ruttan (Ed.), Agriculture, environment and health: Sustainable development in the 21st century. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  55. Sader, S. A., Reining, C., et al. (1997). Human migration and agricultural expansion: An impending threat to the maya biosphere reserve. Journal of Forestry, 95(12), 27–32.Google Scholar
  56. Sheridan, T. E. (1988). Where the Dove calls: The political ecology of a peasant corporate community in Northwestern Mexico. Tucson: University of Arizona Press.Google Scholar
  57. Simon, J. (1996). The Ultimate Resource 2. Princeton University Press: Princeton.Google Scholar
  58. Skole, D. L., & Tucker, C. J. (1993). Tropical deforestation, fragmented habitats, and adversely affected habitat in the Brazilian Amazon: 1978–1988. Science, 260(5116), 1905–1910.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Stone, G. D. (1997). Predatory sedentism: Intimidation and intensification the Nigerian savanna. Human Ecology, 25(2), 223–242.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Strauss, J. (1986). The theory and comparative statics of agricultural household models: a general approach. In I. Singh, L. Squire, & J. Strauss (Eds.), Agricultural household modes: Extensions, applications, and policy. Baltimore, MD: John Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  61. Tiffen, M., Mortimore, M., & Gichuki, F. (1994). More people, less erosion. Chichester: John Wiley and Sons.Google Scholar
  62. Tolba, M. K. (1986). Desertification. World meteorological organisation bulletin, 35(1), 17–22.Google Scholar
  63. Turner, B. L., I. I., Hyden, G., & Kates, R. W. (1993). Population growth and agricultural change in Africa. Gainesville, Florida: University of Florida Press.Google Scholar
  64. Uitamo, E., & Nilsagard, H. (1999). Modeling deforestation caused by the expansion of subsistence farming in the Philippines. Journal of Forest Economics, 5(1), 99–121.Google Scholar
  65. Unruh, J., Cligget, L., & Hay, R. (2005). Migrant land rights reception and ‘clearing to claim’ in sub-Saharan Africa: A deforestation example from southern Zambia. Natural Resources Forum, 29(1), 190–198.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Wood, C. H., & Skole, D. (1998). Linking satellite, census and survey data to study deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon. In D. Liverman, E. F. Moran, R. R. Rindfuss, & P. C. Stern (Eds.), People and pixels: Linking remote sensing and social science (pp. 70–93). National Academy Press: Washington.Google Scholar
  67. World Resources Institute. (1989). World resources, 1989. Washington.Google Scholar
  68. Zimmerer, K. S. (1993). Soil erosion and labor shortages in the Andes with special reference to Bolivia, 1953–91: Implications for conservation-with-development. World Development, 21(10), 1659–1675.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Samuel Nii Ardey Codjoe
    • 1
  • Richard E. Bilsborrow
    • 2
  1. 1.Regional Institute for Population StudiesUniversity of GhanaLegon, AccraGhana
  2. 2.Carolina Population CentreUniversity of North CarolinaChapel HillUSA

Personalised recommendations