This paper examines change within farming systems in the Brong Ahafo Region in Ghana, and the impact of agricultural modernization and mechanization on the regional economy and local farming systems. It combines anthropological, historical, and remote sensing techniques to document changes in farming practice and land use and land cover. It argues that change is not the product of simple evolutionary sequences of responses to population pressures or adoption of modern technologies, but arises out of a complex set of factors interacting within wider regional economies, which are increasingly commodified and commercialized and subject to global market pressures. These include technical, institutional, market, movements of labor, and transport infrastructure development dimensions, which often create new opportunities for local farmers other than those envisaged in agricultural development policies. Tracing the opening up of the transition zone over the last 40–50 years through the development of state farms and mechanized synthetic agriculture, the paper examines the changing fortunes of farming systems within a radius of 30–40 km from agricultural technology hubs and the implications for models of agricultural development.
Amanor, K.S; Pabi, O. Space, Time, Rhetoric and Agricultural Change in the Transition Zone of Ghana. Human Ecology (2007) 35 (1) 51-67. [DOI: 10.1007/s10745-006-9081-6]