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|Title:||Conservation studies on land use change and the sustainability of food production and gold mining in a Sub-Sahara African forest ecosystem|
|Citation:||American Journal of Plant Physiology, 2012; 7(5):184-199|
|Publisher:||Academic Journals Inc.|
|Jonathan Castel Djietror and Appiah Catherine|
|Abstract:||The imbalance between land use for agronomy and for earth mineral exploration has profound ramifications for food security in gold producing African countries. Mineral exploration within forest ecosystems is a common phenomenon across the Sub-Sahara African region. This case study of Ghana examined the conversion of fertile agricultural land to gold mining land and how this change impacted on cropland area. Between 1980-2000 the mining land area within the four major gold-producing centers of Ghana increased by a total of 1131.61 km2. Surface mining operations represented the major cause for land use change from cropland to mining land. There were simultaneous increases in the land area for food crops and cash crops. This seriously limited the land area available for food production. Though inter-annual food harvest increased, it resulted from the expansion in farm size rather than from improvement in technology or agricultural inputs. Increased gold production generated higher income to support food imports. However, the high cost of imported food undermined the food purchasing power of rural people. Rural poverty rate between 1980 and 2000 increased while urban poverty percentage remained 15%. Uncontrolled gold mining could facilitate a rapid decline in arable land area and reduce the food crop production output. This imbalance in land use could contribute to long-term food security crisis in Ghana and other gold-producing Sub-Sahara African countries.|
|Keywords:||Cash crops; food crops; Ghana; land use; mining; poverty|
|Rights:||© 2012 Academic Journals Inc.|
|Appears in Collections:||Agriculture, Food and Wine publications|
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