Land Tenure system; a threat to Ghana’s Agricultural sector

Government’s inability to have full-fledged control of agrarian lands poses a serious threat to agricultural activities.

This is because the land tenure system in the country is not often favorable to agricultural practices.

Ghana’s land tenure system seems to impede the development of our agric sector due to its rare form in the country.

The outright ownership of lands still rest in the hands of our traditional authorities and family heads.

To acquire a parcel of land for farming purposes, one has to get permission by allodial titleholders to use the land.

Since government has no absolute control over lands in the country, traditional authorities and family heads are taking advantage of it to make land acquisition a very cumbersome and frustration venture.

Small holder farmers, particularly women, appear to be vulnerable in land acquisition for farming in the farming communities despite their immense role in supporting the agric sector, in achieving food nutrition and food security.

Women constitute about 52% workforce in the agricultural sector as supportive hands to their husbands since women have no access to farm lands.

The irony of it is that, small holder farmers (women) are not adequately resourced to acquire their own land for farming purposes.

The situation is forcing many women out of active farming, thus the hawking on our principal streets for daily bread.

Government’s move to get the youth into agriculture may not come into fruition unless the government steps in to address our current land administration system.

Recently almost 2000 cocoa farmers at Asikasu Odumase in the Upper West Akim District have lost their cocoa farms to a private developer for rubber plantation simply because, traditional authorities have leased out the said cocoa plantation.

Cocoa farmers in Abenase, Onwe, Edwenase and Sonsuaso in the Ejisu Municipal had to demonstrate against traditional authorities to protect their 200 hectors of cocoa farms which was sold to a private developer.

It is against these developments, that some experts are predicting doom for the future of our agricultural sector, arguing that if stringent measures are not put up by the government, we risk losing out all agrarian lands for private developers.

My visit to some of the farming communities undoubtedly confirm the fact that, virtually all the farmers are old and this is a serious issue that needs national audience, since the young ones are not prepared to venture into active farming.

Are the youth ready to assume the full responsibility of going into farming?

Speaking to Mr. Kwaku Amponsah, a 28 years old street hawker in Kumasi on the sideline of why Youth are not venturing into farming revealed land acquisition as a frustration venture amidst litigation and high cost of lease or hiring.

This young man would love to venture into farming, but his inability to acquire a land for himself has landed him unto the streets of Kumasi.

Again, Mr Kojo Ntim, a mixed cropping farmer, in Abenase, who has been farming on family land, shares the same ordeal and wants government to secure vast land for farming purposes, since many young unemployed people are ready to venture into active farming but availability of land is forcing them out of their dream field.

On the whole, Dr. Richard Ampadu -Ameyaw, the national coordinator for Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB) avowed that the current practices remains a threat to future Agricultural practices.

Speaking to Journalists on a one day national dialogue series on Cocoa on Thursday, charged the government to review the existing administration laws.

To him, a total reform of Ghana’s land tenure system ought to be done differently to suit modern Agricultural practices.
If agricultural development is to take place, we need land reforms and revised Land use.
Most prospective investors in agriculture are discouraged and frustrated due to some challenges in our land tenure system, he added.

Paradoxically, while these land tenure systems are the accepted practices in Ghana, some chiefs also entertain fear of its potential threat to our agricultural sector.

Nana Adjei Panin II, Chief of Deduako, a farming community in the Bosomtwe district partly blamed it on our cultural practices and back the call on government to have full custodian of lands to save our Agricultural Sector.

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