Conflicting land deals and food insecurity: The era of Jatropha boom, bust and transformation in Ghana

Richmond Antwi-Bediako, Mohammed Abubakari


Global concerns about fossil fuel prices and climate change have directed focus on prospects of biofuels. In Ghana, large-scale biofuel development has been entangled with several problems including disputes over land use and a combination of challenges such as low yield performance of Jatropha, food versus oilseed prices and financial viability issues. Furthermore, the exercised land acquisition processes lacked transparency and could not protect the rights of vulnerable local people. One particular challenge is the withdrawal of companies without returning the land to the land owners. This paper reviews these findings in the context of land rights and implications of food security of the boom, bust and transformation of the abandoned land. It also investigates the prospects for a more sustainable approach in light of improving policy indicators such as the Renewable Energy Act in 2011 (ACT832), which requires, among other things, that Ghana attains 10% biofuels (biodiesel/bioethanol) in its energy mix by 2020 without compromising food security


Boom, Bust, Transformation, Jatropha, Biofuels, Land Rights, Food Security

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