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Water and land investment in the “overseas”11A nickname for Yagba and its surrounding villages in the Mamprugu Moadugri District, because of their remote location described below. of Northern Ghana: The land question, agrarian change, and development implications

Ayelazuno, Jasper Abembia
Land use policy 2019 v.81 pp. 915-928
agricultural development, business enterprises, climatic factors, foreign direct investment, industrialization, models, peasantry, politics, villages, water management, Ghana
Despite its hostile climatic conditions, the Northern Ghana has recently attracted foreign direct investment (FDI) in land and water acquisitions for capitalist farming. Drawing on the insights of agrarian political economy, this paper critically analyses a new and under-researched case of such investment in the “Overseas”, Northern Region, by The Integrated Water Management and Agricultural Development Ghana Limited (IWAD). The thrust of the analysis is the implications of the business model of IWAD for the social (re)production of peasants and the industrialisation vision of the Ghanaian state. I argue that helpful and important insights into these implications – especially the linkages between land acquisition, capitalist agriculture, agrarian change and industrialisation – can be gained by situating contemporary land acquisitions in the longer historical span of land grabs in Africa. This exercise should focus on the articulation of the (re)production of African rural populace with the global economy through global primitive accumulation. After doing this, the paper then documents and discusses the land question and its resolution in this specific case, and then examines the emerging agrarian change in the Overseas and its significance for industrialisation in Ghana.