Cocoa production, farmlands, and the galamsey: Examining current and emerging trends in the ASM-agriculture nexus

Abstract

In this paper, we build on the diverse discussions on the nexus between artisanal and small-scale mining and agriculture to examine emerging relationships between mining operators, smallholder cocoa farmers, and landowners in rural cocoa-growing communities. Empirically, we draw on fresh insights from in-depth interviews with loosely coupled chain actors in Ghana's cocoa and mining sectors, we found what we call ‘coerced to sell’ strategies deployed by miners in the acquisition of farmlands for their operations. We go further to shed light on the employment trajectories of the new breed of landless farmers, and the emerging diversification strategies of landowners. Implications of our findings for the policy and practice of ASM and farmlands are outlined

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