When a Good Business Model Is Not Enough: Land Transactions and Gendered Livelihood Prospects in Rural Ghana

Citation:

Tsikata, Dzodzi, and Joseph Awetori Yaro. 2014. “When a Good Business Model Is Not Enough: Land Transactions and Gendered Livelihood Prospects in Rural Ghana.” Feminist Economics 20 (1): 202–26.

Authors: Dzodzi Tsikata, Joseph Awetori Yaro

Abstract:

Recent large-scale commercial agriculture projects in developing countries have raised concerns about the effects on natural resource-based livelihood activities of local people. A significant weakness in the emerging literature is the lack of a gender perspective on implications for agrarian livelihoods. This article explores the gendered aspects of land transactions on livelihood prospects in the Northern Region of Ghana. Drawing on qualitative research from two commercial agriculture projects, the article examines how pre-existing gender inequalities in agrarian production systems, as well as gender biases in project design, are implicated in post-project livelihood activities. The article concludes that a good business model of a land deal, even one that includes local communities in production and profit sharing, is not sufficient to protect women's livelihood prospects if projects ignore pre-existing gender inequalities and biases, which limit access to opportunities.

Keywords: business model, commercial agriculture, commons, gender, livelihood, land tenure

Topics: Economies, Economic Inequality, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Livelihoods, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Ghana

Year: 2013

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