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The farm investment and food security implications of privatized land tenure and cash crop production : evidence for a cooperative tenure alternative for West African states

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The farm investment and food security implications of privatized land tenure and cash crop production : evidence for a cooperative tenure alternative for West African states

Tiepoh, Moses Geepu Nah (2006) The farm investment and food security implications of privatized land tenure and cash crop production : evidence for a cooperative tenure alternative for West African states. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

In view of the continuing crisis in African agricultural development and particularly food production, and the inefficacy of past policies by African governments and international institutions in improving the investment incentives and productive capacity of low-resource farmers, attention is now being redirected to the institutional context of these farmers, especially the terms on which they own and utilize land. The main debate in this discourse has been about whether or not African indigenous customary land tenure institutions constrain the region's agricultural development and therefore should be replaced with formally privatized tenure systems. The purpose of this doctoral thesis is to contribute to this debate by explaining and demonstrating how under certain social, political, and institutional governing conditions such customary institutions may evolve into cooperative tenure alternative rather than privatization, promote efficient land use and, in the process, encourage rural farm investments; and by showing that cash crop production, which is linked to land privatization, may impede national food security. Although previous authors have stressed the need for more inclusive models to address these two research questions, none have provided analyses and evidence that clearly highlighted the linkage between both questions. This dissertation has attempted to accomplish this by demonstrating that farmers operating under a cooperative land tenure system, as facilitated by their social capital and access to state-local institutions, will have less incentive to overexploit any available communal forest land and therefore invest more in intensive farming and agricultural modernization than those producing under a non-cooperative or privatized tenure. The empirical evidence for this conclusion shows that households farming under cooperative systems have a greater average investment spending than those under privatized systems. The dissertation has also shown that cash crops as produced mainly on privatized land and food crops are substitutes in production. On average a percent increase in cash crop production is associated with a 0.18 percent decrease in food crop production for most West African countries. Thus it may be the case that cash crop production conflicts with the food security needs of these countries, just as it is supported by a land privatization that undermines farmers' investment incentives

Divisions:Concordia University > School of Graduate Studies
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Tiepoh, Moses Geepu Nah
Pagination:x, 214 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Program:School of Graduate Studies
Date:2006
Thesis Supervisor(s):Ahsan, Syed
ID Code:9005
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:18 Aug 2011 14:42
Last Modified:18 Aug 2011 14:58
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