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14.The land Tenure and agrarian system in the new cocoa frontier of Ghana: Wassa Akropong case study


Introduction
Evolution of the customary tenure system
The migrant farmer and land access
Size of holdings
Resources
Land use
Farmers perception of tenure problems
Conclusion
References


George Benneh

Introduction

The migration of cocoa farmers into the relatively empty lands of the Wassa Akropong area is part of a larger system of global population movements into agricultural lands hitherto not settled by individual farmers. This kind of movement, referred to variously as spontaneous migration (Bahrin 1981), spontaneous transmigration (Fasbender, et al. 1981), spontaneous colonization (Dozier 1969), and spontaneous settlement (Uhlig 1984), contrasts with planned or directed agricultural resettlement schemes sponsored by many governments in the developing countries. It is associated with frontier areas, relatively empty agricultural lands which are unsettled, unappropriated, and unused (Reboratti 1981). The phenomenon is not new nor has it been restricted to a particular continent (Uhlig 1984).

Spontaneous migration of farmers into relatively empty agricultural lands leads to complex changes in the agrarian and ecological system in the frontier areas. The scope of this paper is, however, limited to a consideration of the changes which have occurred in the traditional land tenure systems in response to the demand for land by migrant cocoa farmers in the new cocoa frontier of the Western Region of Ghana and of the effects of these changes on the agrarian system.

The development of the cocoa industry in Ghana since the nineteenth century has been characterized by the spontaneous colonization of relatively empty lands by enterprising farmers. From the Akwapim ridge where the crop was first introduced during the second half of the last century, the cocoa frontier first moved further north into Ashanti with the construction of railways and roads from the coast into the interior. The early history of the expansion of the cocoa industry has been studied by a number of researchers, notably Hunter (1961), Hill (1963), and Johnson (1964). Their work, based largely on maps prepared by the Cocoa Division of the Ministry of Agriculture, provides a remarkably detailed account in English of the economics, sociology, and geography of the migration of cocoa farmers from the Krobo and Akwapim areas into the lands of south-east Akim Abuakwa. This early colonization was largely on land which was suitable for cocoa cultivation.

By the end of the Second World War, a greater part of the cocoa soils in the Eastern and Ashanti regions had been brought under cultivation. The near exhaustion of suitable cocoa land in these regions, combined with the devastation of cocoa by the swollen shoot disease in the Eastern Region, forced farmers to move into the less developed forest areas of the Brong-Ahafo (Adomako-Safo 1965), Central, and Western regions. These farmers were spurred on in their quest for new lands by high prices for cocoa in the early 1950s. The search for unclaimed land by pioneer cocoa farmers was greatly facilitated also by timber prospectors, who, in the course of their work, built a network of bush tracks. The farmers" frontier, by and large, followed that of the timber prospectors in a region where there were hardly any motorable roads (Benneh 1965).

The Study Area

The study was carried out in the Wassa Amenfi District in the Western Region of Ghana (fig. 1). The district lies within the forest zone of Ghana, and receives more than 1,500 mm of rainfall annually (fig. 2). Apart from the area under forest reserves, which constitutes about 30 per cent of the area of the district, the original vegetation has been converted into farm lands, land under various stages of fallow, and built up areas. An extensive part of the district is floored by the transitional oxy-ochrosol intergrades (fig. 3). To the north of the intergrades are the ochrosols. These are less leached and better for cocoa than the intergrades. To the south are the oxysols, which are more leached and are less suitable for cocoa cultivation.

As the population has increased with the influx of migrant farmers, the pressure on available land resources has increased. In 1948 the population of the district was 21,500. By 1960 it had increased to 57,537 (167.6%). In 1970 the population rose to 85,698. More than half (53.4%) of the population was born outside the district. The 1984 population census recorded 139,833 people for the district, an increase of 63.2 per cent.

The vast majority of the people in the district live in small, scattered farm settlements. According to the results of the 1984 population census, only 264 (12.4%) out of a total of 2,132 enumeration localities in the district were settlements with a population of 100 and above. The rest were farmsteads with a population of less than 10. The large settlements include Asankrangwa, the district administrative capital, with a population of 6,304 in 1984; Samreboi and Manso Amenfi, sawmill centres; and Wassa Akropong, the traditional capital (fig. 4).

There has been little public investment in social amenities in the district. Health facilities are few and unevenly distributed. The two existing hospitals are both locased in the west of the district, in Samreboi and Asankrangwa. The former was established by the sawmill company in the town, and the latter by the Catholic mission (fig. 5). There are few good roads. The only first class road is the 20 km stretch between Bawdie and Wassa Akropong. Out of 2,132 enumerated localities (1984 population census), over 70 per cent were not directly linked by roads. In 1981 only three settlements in the district-Asankrangwa, Samreboi, and Wassa Akropong-had access to potable drinking water. Although, under the government's Borehole Programme for rural communities, 130 wells have been sunk for 51 settlements (2.4%), the water situation in the district has not improved much. A recent survey revealed that more than 50 per cent of the pumps had broken down; the local people were not taught how to maintain them. In places such as Afransie, Tamakloe, and Gyedua, without wells, women and children walk not less than 5 km to fetch water from ponds during the dry season.

FIG. 1. Study area: Wassa Akropong

FIG. 2. Western Region: vegetation

FIG. 3. Western Region: soils

FIG. 4. Wassa Amenfi District: population

FIG. 5. Wassa Amenfi District: social amenities

It is to this relatively undeveloped area that farmers have moved from the more developed areas of Ghana in search of land and new fortunes. The main focus of the present study is how these migrant farmers gain access to land in this frontier zone and the consequences of this for sound agricultural practice and management of resources.

Characteristics of the Farming Population

Two hundred and fifty heads of household or their representatives were interviewed in Wassa Akropong and in the following villages: Subriso, Japa, Afransie, Grumesa, Mehame, Gyedua, Nyamebekyere, and Tamakloe (fig. 1).

Of those interviewed, 93 (37.2%) were Wassa and the rest migrant farmers. Apart from the native Wassa, the main ethnic groups represented in the sample were Asante 61 (24.4%), Akwapim 27 (10.8%), and Ewe 19 (7.6%). Only 14 females were interviewed because there were not many female heads of households. The majority of the people interviewed were born outside the area: 105 (42%) were born outside the Western Region, while 71 (28.4%) were born outside the Wassa Amenfi District. The majority of respondents were illiterates (54.8%); only 9.2 per cent of those educated had gone beyond the primary school level. Fifty-eight respondents (23.2%) had technical training in agriculture. The main occupation was farming. Two hundred and thirty-one respondents (85.2%) worked on their holdings. Only 84 (33.6%) of those interviewed earned any income outside their holdings.

Evolution of the customary tenure system

According to the oral tradition of the people, the ancestors of the paramount chief of Wassa Amenfi conquered the original inhabitants of the area and took possession of their land. This was divided up among the war captains, who later became divisional chiefs (asafohene) under the paramount chief.

Owing to the vastness of the traditional area, it was divided up for administrative purposes into 45 divisions, each of which was controlled by a divisional chief, or safohene, who in turn supervised a number of subchiefs, called adikrofo, who administered some parcels of land. These subchiefs were originally expected to administer the lands allocated to them on behalf of the superior chief. Thus the ultimate authority in land matters was the paramount chief.

As the Wassa were originally mainly hunters with little interest in farming, there was no scramble for land by individual members of the landowning group. Land was communally owned by kin groups and passed down from one generation to another through the matrilineal inheritance system. Small plots were cultivated under the most elementary form of subsistence. This situation changed with the introduction of cocoa into the region upon the arrival of migrant farmers, first from Akwapim in the Eastern Region and later from elsewhere in Ghana.

The native Wassa were slow in taking up cocoa cultivation; they were, however, interested in granting land to strangers in return for cash or other benefits. This made it necessary for rights over land to be established by the Wassa chiefs and heads of kin groups. This was done through encroachment on virgin forest land. Anyone clearing an area of land which had not before been cultivated established his right over that tract of land. This method of land acquisition led to ecologically damaging practices. People cleared large tracts of land, felled the trees, and left the land uncultivated, merely in order to establish their rights over it. The holders of such large tracts now lease portions to land-hungry Wassa and migrant farmers, mainly because of their lack of labour and capital to develop such lands.

Where there is still vacant communal land, members of the landowning group enjoy use rights over the lands that they are the first to bring under cultivation. Another route for gaining access to land is through inheritance. The system of inheritance in the Wassa area is matrilineal.

The migrant farmer and land access

Migrant cocoa farmers can gain access to land under four main tenurial arrangements. These are

(i) share cropping (consisting of two systems);
(ii) outright purchase, and
(iii) through gifts.

Share Cropping Systems

The two share cropping systems are known locally as abunu and abusa. Under the abunu tenancy, the proceeds from the harvest or the farm may be divided equally between the tenant and the landowner. Before this division, the harvest from cover crops such as plantain and cocoyam is shared equally, usually after sales, between the landowner and the farmer. During the division of the proceeds, the landowner has the first choice of the products as divided.

In the case of the abusa, the ratio of the tenant farmer's acreage to that of the landowner is two to one. Again it is the landowner who has first choice, and in a large number of cases he takes care of the farm and harvests the crops himself. In some cases, however, the tenant farmer is employed to harvest the crop and take care of the farm for one-third of the harvest. In other cases an entirely new person may be hired to take care of the farm under similar terms.

An important feature of the share cropping agreement is the relative contributions of labour and capital by the tenant farmer and the landowner. In the case of abunu, the landowner is expected to contribute labour, capital, and seedlings. This varies, however, with the individual agreements. In the case of abuse, however, the landowner contributes nothing apart from the tract of land; the share cropper is expected to use onethird of the harvested crop to finance the cost of operations on the farm and the other one-third as his personal remuneration, while the landowner receives one-third as his rent for the land.

Under the share cropping tenancy, the tenant farmer is not free to cultivate any crop he likes without the consent of the landowner. From a sample of 97 share croppers, 34 respondents (35.1%) claimed they had to obtain permission from their landowners before cultivating any crop not specified in the terms of the tenancy agreement. There had been instances where defaulting tenant farmers had been ejected by aggrieved landowners. Thus, in one of the villages studied, Tamakloe, some Ewe farmers had been ejected from their land by the landowners because they had cultivated cassava, which they used to make gari, a popular food item, instead of cultivating cocoa and oil palm, for which they had acquired the land. The Ewe tenants were apparently making huge profits from the sale of gari.

According to farmers, the application of the two share cropping systems in the area has changed in the last twenty years. Formerly, landowners were not entitled to receive a share of food crops cultivated as cover crops on cocoa farms. However, in the last decade or so, food crops have become more profitable than cocoa as the country has faced a serious food crisis. Landowners are therefore demanding a share of the profits from the sale of food crops used as cover crops on young cocoa farms.

Landowners now prefer abunu to abusa tenancy. The reason given for this preference is whereas a landowner would lose half of his land to a migrant farmer under the abunu system, he would lose two-thirds in the case of abusa. Accumulation of land by "strangers," particularly through the abuse tenancy, is not uncommon in the area and the Wassa, especially the youth, are now becoming alarmingly aware of the rate at which they are losing control of their lands to strangers. Some of the migrant farmers have acquired disproportionately more land than the natives, land which they then sublet under share cropping to the latter!

Migrant tenant farmers are also being restricted to the tree crops for which they originally acquired the land. This has at times left them with no land for growing food crops to feed their families. Some have therefore been forced to enter into new tenurial arrangements with landowners to acquire land solely for cultivating subsistence food crops. Under this arrangement, in return for a free grant of land, the migrant farmer undertakes to establish a cocoa or oil palm plantation for the landowner. The farmer is responsible for maintaining the farm until the trees begin to bear fruit. He has no claim to any portion of the farm. Usually the landowner provides the seeds or seedlings for establishing the cocoa or oil palm farm, but nothing else.

Access to Land through Gifts

Access to land may also be obtained through gift grants by landowners to migrant farmers. This is done if the migrant farmer can establish that he belongs to the same clan as the landowning clan of the Wassa village where he has gone in search of land. The migrant farmer would obviously select the village carefully, after he had made preliminary enquiries. On arrival in the village, he would first introduce himself to the clan head as a member of the same clan in his home town. (There are representative segments of all the major clans throughout the Akan cultural region due to earlier population migrations.) The clan head would in turn introduce the farmer to the chief of the village. The migrant farmer would normally offer a bottle of schnapps to the chief. If his claims are accepted he is accorded full membership in the clan in the Wassa village, on the basis of which he would then have access to clan land as a member of the landowning group. He pays nothing in return; he has only to discharge his civic responsibilities as a clan member. A large number of migrant farmers from the study area took this route to gain access to land twenty or more years ago when virgin land was not in short supply.

The migrant farmer may also obtain a grant of land through marriage. No restrictions are placed on the crops which can be cultivated on the land. The Wassa wife and the children resulting from the marriage would inherit the land or farm when the migrant farmer dies. If the marriage should break down, the farm or land would either revert to the wife or be shared between the two.

Access to Land through Outright Purchase

Land may also be obtained through outright purchase, even though some of the subchiefs in the area refuse to acknowledge the transaction as a purchase. The process is a simple one: A migrant farmer requests land for farming from a chief. When his request is granted, the subchief sends "boundary cutters" to demarcate an area for him. On the return of the boundary cutters, the subchief, in acknowledgment of the transaction and on the advice of the boundary cutters, would charge the migrant farmer some amount of money, referred to as "drink" money, the payment of which grants the prospective farmer access to the land. The amounts charged in the 1950s were not high; for a square mile of virgin forest a migrant farmer would pay about 30.00. Usually a document is prepared to cover the transaction, and the farmers pay surveyors to make plans for them. The majority of farmers interviewed (53.2%) had employed surveyors to demarcate the boundaries of their parcels of land. There is some controversy, as yet unresolved, between landowners and migrant farmers over the question of whether such a transaction gives absolute title to the land to the farmer. The paramount chief of the Wassa Akropong traditional area claims that without his signature on the document it is not valid.

As he pointed out: "These tenant farmers fail to come to me for introduction and for confirmation of the transactions entered into. Furthermore, very few if any of the tenant farmers have valid documents or titles to the lands they have acquired. Some chiefs issue temporary receipts which serve as documents on the land, while other tenant farmers make site plans which only the chiefs sign. No indentures are prepared for the signatures of the divisional chiefs and their elders as well as mine. In the absence of indentures and accompanying survey papers, disputes concerning boundaries are legion" (Bassayin 1985).

While some of the chiefs sell the same piece of land to more than one migrant farmer, some migrant farmers invite litigation in that, under the pretext of establishing large scale plantations, they acquire vast stretches of land which they later sublease to new migrant farmers whose identities they conceal from the chiefs. By this practice, the migrant farmers become landlords in their own right and charge higher rents to their fellow migrant farmers who, however, are late comers. These illegal deals come to light only when the new tenant farmers realize they are being cheated and seek redress from the chiefs.

In 1962, following a recommendation by a committee on the need to control land rents, which were identified as one of the major causes of indebtedness of farmers, the government passed the Rent Stabilization Act (109), as amended in 1963 by Act 165, which authorized the appropriate minister to fix rent on land subject to the act. It made it illegal to demand or receive higher rent than that prescribed by the minister and prohibited ejection of tenants without his approval.

The Cocoa Farm Regulation 1962 (LI.186) and 1965 (LI. 382) was the principal rentcontrolling regulation applied to cocoa land in the cocoa growing regions. It fixed rents at one shilling per acre for members of landowning groups and five shillings per acre for strangers.

These measures provoked disputes in the cocoa-growing areas, especially in the new frontier zone, where there were clashes between tenants insisting on the protection of the enactments and landowners who opposed the legislation. With a change of government in 1966, the act was repealed by NLCD 49. In consequence, the landownertenant relationship reverted to the customary arrangements in existence before the coming into force of Act 109. The Wassa Amenfi Traditional Council did not take advantage of the repeal of Act 109 to ask tenant farmers to revert to the previous tenurial arrangements, including share cropping.

Some tenant farmers have therefore continued to enjoy a cash rent tenancy, paying the uneconomic rent of C5.00 (C = cedi, equal to US$0.87 in late 1960s, 1970s) per acre per year. The rent is paid to the Lands Department under the terms specified under Act 123.

The low cash rent paid by tenants has given rise to general discontent among the chiefs and people in the area. Some of the chiefs have, therefore, resorted to other means to exact more money from migrant farmers.

One such chief, whose stool land has almost all been given out, has refused to sign the plans of the tenants, with the excuse that their plots of land were illegally acquired. Everyone who wants his plan signed, therefore, has to go and negotiate with him. Obviously, this creates problems of insecurity for the farmers. According to the subchief, some of these lands in question were acquired from the stool under abusa tenancy, but with the government's Rent Stabilization Act of 1962, the tenant, without prior consultations, reverted to paying acreage dues to the Lands Department instead of one-third of the crops to the chief as specified. For the farmers, obviously it is cheaper and far better to pay only C5.00 for every acre tilled as against paying one-third of their total earnings. And so the argument drags on, as too insecurity of tenure, arbitrary and irrational taxation, inconsistencies in charges for land acquired, litigation and dispute, and an endless tale of bitterness and confusion.

Although the majority (185, or 84%) of farmers have not been involved in land litigation, quite a number have: 49 (19.6%). Of these, only 29 have succeeded in having their cases resolved. Litigation and land dispute are more often associated with the parcels of land acquired through outright purchase than with the plots acquired under share cropping tenancy. Usually the landowners argue that whoever sold the land to the migrant had no authority to do so because the land did not belong to him or that the land sold to him was family land, and could not be sold without informing the rest of the family. There have been instances where migrant farmers have been dispossessed of their farms at the time of harvesting.

Litigation over boundaries arises mainly because of the absence of permanent boundaries or boundary pillars. The role of lawyers in fanning and sustaining litigation over disputed land needs further study; not only do some charge large sums in legal fees from the farmers but some also acquire large tracts of land as part of their consulting fees.

When there is dispute between two subchiefs in the area over land boundaries, migrant farmers are compelled to contribute towards the cost of litigation to the subchief from whom they obtained their land because, it is argued, if the chief should lose the case, they may, in turn, be expelled from their land by the new landowner. This kind of funding, no doubt, accounts for the frequency of litigation over disputed land among the subchiefs in the area. The outcome of the case may not always be to the advantage of the migrant farmers. In a recent land dispute in the area, a group of migrant farmers contributed C2,000.00 each to their subchief towards defraying the cost of litigation. After a lengthy and costly litigation, the subchief lost the case. The new landowner in turn levied C20,000.00 from each migrant farmer to defray his costs incurred in the litigation. The farmers had to pay the new levy to retain their lands. Migrant farmers are also being required to make contributions to enable the chiefs to celebrate traditional festivals. Defaulters are fined or ejected. These charges are not uniform but arbitrary, depending on how influential the subchief in question is.

A paper presented on behalf of the Association of Stranger Farmers in the Wassa Amenfi Traditional area at a seminar referred to these exorbitant demands:

A typical example was a case in which one of the local inhabitants died and during the funeral celebration, the local chief and his elders demanded that a charge of two thousand cedis (C2,000.00) be levied on the 'stranger' farmers as donation. This request was refused and was brought to our notice. Another point was a case in which a chief demand [sic] that every 'stranger' farmer should pay two hundred cedis (C200.00) plus one bottle of schnapps and a sheep every year during his annual festival. This case has still not been resolved, since the 'stranger' farmers feel that the demand is too much. Reports on similar cases which always generate troubles between some local chiefs and 'stranger' farmers keep on coming to us. For example, some local chiefs had demanded renewal of [an] old agreement which had been drawn over ten and twenty years ago because some of the chiefs now feel that monies charged at that time were not enough (FAO 1985).

In addition, migrant farmers may be expected to contribute towards various miscellaneous expenditures; for instance, toward development projects such as schools, road construction, and even for ceremonies such as the "enstoolment," or installation, of a subchief.

The types of tenure identified in the area reflect the predominance of migrant farmers in the sample population (table 1). The majority of farmers interviewed had gained access to land through share cropping systems or through direct purchase. It is mostly the native Wassa who have obtained land through the communal tenure system or through inheritance.

Size of holdings

The majority of the farmers, 154 out of the total of 25O, had holdings of between 4 and 19.8 ha.) There were 32 with less than 4 ha and 27 with holdings of about 40.5 ha. While the average for those whose farms have been properly surveyed is reliable, there are bound to be differences in size according to the unit of measurement used in determining the acreage. The more common unit of measurement was the "pole," which is the equivalent of 40 outstretched arm lengths of a tall male adult. In effect, the pole measures about 73.2 m. Measurement by poles was more common among the Wassa respondents. Migrant farmers, who usually had plans based on surveys covering their parcels of land, were bound to return more accurate figures. Farms owned by Wassa citizens are known to be smaller than those of migrant farmers; this is because migrant farmers usually have a larger outlay of capital for financing the development of farming, through the support of their kinsmen.

Resources

Due to the luxuriant forest vegetation the cost of establishing a new farm is high. Thus the farm size would, to some extent, depend on the capital available for employing labour for clearing and preparing the virgin forest land for cultivation or on the amount of family labour or the type of technology used for farming. Of the heads of household interviewed, 43.6 per cent (109) had obtained credit. The vast majority, 66 (60.5%), used the loans for production, while 12 (11.0%) borrowed the money for consumption.

Only 3 farmers (2.7%) had used land as collateral. The majority of the farmers had obtained their loans from the Rural Bank, which was established three years ago at Wassa Akropong, although a significant number had borrowed money from money lenders and kinsmen.

TABLE 1. Types of tenure of farmers interviewed in Wassa Akropong

 

1st parcel of land

2nd parcel of land

3rd parcel of land

  No. % No. % No. %
Communal/            
inheritance 31 12.4 26 10.4 14 17.1
Share cropping 52 20.8 48 19.2 9 11.0
Cash tenancy 87 34.8 41 16.4 24 29.3
Purchase/legal            
title 50 20.0 22 8.8 18 21.9
Other 30 12.0 113 45.2 17 20.7
Total 250 100.0 250 100.0 82 100.0

TABLE 2.

 

1964

1970s

1984

Pesticide use No. % No. % No. %
Yes 115 46.0 180 72.0 102 40.8
No 67 26.8 55 22.0 133 53.2
Not stated 68 27.2 15 60.0 15 6.0

Most of the farmers (193, or 77.2%) used hired labour on their holdings. At the same time, 148 (59.2%) respondents depended on members of their family as a source of labour. Few farmers (28) had permanent labourers; 15 employed one labourer each.

The main tools used for tillage were simple: machete, hoe, axe, and the earth chisel, and for harvesting, cutlass, knives, and cocoa picker. In a few cases a chain saw was hired for felling trees if petrol could be obtained. There have not been any significant changes in technology in the last twenty years.

Pesticides, especially Gamallin 20, are used for spraying cocoa trees, but with the increasing high cost and the scarcity of fuel and lubricants, its use is becoming less and less popular, to the detriment of the cocoa trees. For instance, 46 per cent of the farmers used pesticides 20 years ago. This increased to 72 per cent in the 1970s and dropped to as low as 40.8 per cent at the time of the interviews.

Fertilizers have only recently been introduced in the area, applied mainly with oil palm seedlings. Only 20, 12.8, and 5.2 per cent of the respondents claimed that they had applied chemical fertilizer on their first, second, and third parcels of land respectively.

Land use

By far the most important cash crop is cocoa, followed by oil palm, which is a more recent introduction. But an increasing number of farmers are switching from cocoa to oil palm and food crops. There are several reasons for this. The area does not have the best soils for cocoa; since the soils are more leached than those further north, the cocoa yields in the area are rather low. Moreover, cocoa does not compete favourably in terms of profitability with food crops such as maize. This is because of the high cost of maintaining cocoa plantations. The spread of capsid disease in the area is also causing some concern. As long as the trend in the switch from tree crops to food crops continues, there is the likelihood that there will be greater changes in the tenure systems in respect of food crops than in relation to cash tree crops.

Farmers perception of tenure problems

In an attempt to get the farmers themselves to identify the tenure issues in the area, they were asked to express their views on the advantages and disadvantages of the present tenure systems. Their views are summarized below.

Even though it is quite easy for a migrant farmer to purchase land, the attendant litigation makes such land acquisition undesirable. Many farmers thus prefer tenancy arrangements to outright purchase.

On the other hand, whereas the farmer who cultivates land which he has purchased is free to use his land in any manner he likes, the farmer under share cropping is not so free and invariably ends up with a permanent cash crop farm, say cocoa, and no land for food crop cultivation.

Although the presence of the subchiefs makes land administration and acquisition quite easy, the great degree of freedom within which they operate and the arbitrariness of some of their decisions serve to defeat the very purpose they are supposed to serve, and in effect they constitute a hindrance to agricultural production and cause land litigation.

Finally, the absence of permanent markers, such as boundary pillars, gives rise to litigation.

Conclusion

In the face of the findings of this study, there is clearly a need for changes in the tenure systems in the new cocoa frontier to confer greater security of tenure on migrant cocoa farmers. At a recent FAO (1985) sponsored seminar which was attended by the paramount chief of Wassa Amenfi and his elders as well as representatives of the migrant farmers, the following recommendations were made to remedy some of the defects of the existing share cropping systems in the new cocoa frontiers in Ghana.

(i) Share cropping tenancies should be replaced by cash tenancies. The seminar therefore recommended the re-enactment of the Rent Stabilization Act which was repealed in 1966.
(ii) An assessed rent per annum should be inserted in the written tenancy agreement and this rent should be revised every five years.
(iii) No restrictions should be imposed on tenants as to the types of crop they are allowed to cultivate on rented land.
(iv) The minimum duration of tenancies should be fixed by law according to the period needed for a full return on each type crop.
(v) Eviction of a tenant before the expiry of a term of contract should be forbidden except by an order of court, which should not be given unless one of the following has been proved:

-nonpayment of rent
-failure to develop the land for at least five years
-subleasing, mortgaging, or any other act leading to alienation without consent of the landowning group and the Lands Commission

The implementation of these recommendations would not only advance the production efforts of migrant cocoa farmers who have contributed to the growth of the cocoa industry of the country but it will also bring peace to the frontier zone which, in the last few decades, has witnessed confrontations between landowners and migrant farmers.

References

Adomako-Safo, J. 1965. "The development of cocoa farming in Brong Ahafo South with special reference to the migration of farmers." M.A. thesis, University of Ghana, Legon. Bahrin, T. S. 1981. "Review and evaluation of attempts to direct migrants to frontier areas via land colonisation schemes." In United Nations, Population distribution policies in developmentplanning (ST/SOA Ser. A/75), Population Studies, no. 75. New York.

Bassayin, K. K. 1985. "The role of chiefs in the administration of stool lands in the Wassa Amenfi area: Problems of land tenure and land administration with respect to subjects and in relation to stranger farmers." In FAO Sponsored Seminar, Accra.

Benneh, G. 1962. "Land tenure and farming systems in Nkrankwanta: A village in the pioneer cocoa area in Ghana." Bulletin of the Ghana Geographical Association, 7(2): 6-15.

Dozier, C. L. 1969. Land development and colonization in Latin America: Case studies of Peru, Bolivia and Mexico. Praeger, New York.

FAO. 1985. Seminar on Land Tenure and Agrarian Systems and Rural Development in Ghana, Accra.

Fasbender, K. A., et al. 1981. Experience, conclusions and recommendations from selected transmigration projects. TAD Materialien 10, HWWA, Hamburg.

Hill, P. 1963. The migrant cocoa farmers of southern Ghana: A study in rural capitalism. Cambridge University Press, London.

Hunter, J. M. 1961. "Akotuakrom: A case study of a devastated cocoa village in Ghana." Transactions Institute of British Geographers, 29: 161-186.

Johnson, M. 1964. "Migrants progress, part 1. " Bulletin of the Ghana Geographical Association, 9(2): 10-27.

Reboratti, C. E. 1981. "Migrants and the agrarian frontier: Argentina and Brazil in the Upper ParanaUruguay Basin." In J. Balan, ea., Why people move. Paris, Unesco Press.

Uhlig, H., ed. 1984. Spontaneous and planned settlement in Souih-east Asia. Institute of Asian Affairs, Hamburg.


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