Graduation Year

Spring 2011

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Environment, Economics, and Politics (EEP)

Reader 1

William Ascher

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Rights Information

© 2011 Ashley Scott


For several decades following its independence from Great Britain, Ghana’s policies continued to promote over-extraction of natural resources to the detriment of its economy and rural communities. Agricultural and forestry policy has gradually evolved to foster more sustainable and equitable practices, as in building partnerships with the private sector to fund infrastructure improvements. Policy has recently recognized the dire need to adopt agricultural practices and means of forest resource extraction that are compatible with ecological stewardship. However, many shortcomings are still apparent. Large logging operations completely disregard forestry regulations with impunity, whereas rural sustenance extractors are severely punished in the rare event that policy is actually enforced. Although the severe disadvantages that agricultural policies had imposed in the 1960s have been partially alleviated, much improvement is still needed. Recent agricultural policy has recognized the lack of funding available to invest in more efficient and higher-yielding agricultural practices, but partnerships with the actual lending institutions do not exist. The scarcity of crucial inputs, such as fertilizer and technical assistance remains a major problem in the agricultural sector, as the soils are becoming rapidly depleted, leading to declining crop yields and further encroachment on the 20 percent of forests remaining. Overly ambitious targets and unrealistic policies require more careful and detailed formulation so that Ghana’s resources can be managed effectively before famine sweeps the food-insecure country once more.