, 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


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.


Environment Agricultural land use Intensification Migrants Host population Ghana 


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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

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