Farmers and herders in Ghana: examining the impact of livelihood and autochthony on the land conflict between indigenes and migrants

Boakye Gyan, Collins Kwaku Gyan (2021) Farmers and herders in Ghana: examining the impact of livelihood and autochthony on the land conflict between indigenes and migrants. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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This study examines the underlying drivers of the conflict between Indigenous farmers and Fulani herders in two districts in Ghana: Asante Akim North and Gushegu districts. These two districts have witnessed the most violence in Ghana between 2001 and 2020. The research is anchored on land-use and land access theories, as well as autochthony and narratives of "Sons of the Soil". Based on data gathered from forty-five (45) media sources of local, national and international news articles in newspapers and online, including transcripts of extended interviews of leaders of both Indigenous farmers and Fulani herders done on national television and documents from the police, judicial service, traditional Council and Regional Security Council. This Study argues that the differences in the livelihood of the two groups of land users and the use of autochthony identity to deny Fulani herders access to land are the underlying drivers of the violent conflict between farmers and herders. Both farmers and herders need land for their livelihood; however, land access and use are contested and interpreted continuously within the spheres of identity. The focus on the farmer-herder conflict in Ghana emphasizes that theories that seek to identify and explain the causes of group conflict must go beyond simple linear explanations to include complex multi-dimensional explanations.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 14930
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 138-146).
Keywords: farmers, fulani herders, livelihood, autochthony, conflict, Ghana, indigenes, Asante Akim North, Gushegu, migration, land-use, land access, sons of the soil
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Political Science
Date: February 2021
Date Type: Submission
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Land use--Government policy--Ghana; Intergroup relations--Ghana; Indigenous peoples--Ghana.

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