Evolution of Land Rental Arrangements in Rural Ghana: Evidence from Farming Communities in Wa East and Gomoa East Districts of Ghana
Land rental arrangements remain important means of accessing land by the landless, poor women and migrants, in most rural farming communities in Ghana. These arrangements have been in existence in parts of southern Ghana since the pre-colonial era. In recent times, land rental arrangements are expanding spatially, and assuming diverse forms, yet, neglected by land tenure literature in West Africa, where, emphasis has been on land ownership, titles and its associated security. This paper sought to unearth the variety of land rental arrangements existing in selected farming communities which lies within the Guinea Savannah, and Coastal Savannah ecological zones of Ghana, their varied characters, trends of evolution, and the driving forces behind these evolution. The paper used data collected from among indigenes and migrants farmers in selected communities which lies within Wa East and Gomoa East Districts of Ghana, using questionnaires, key informant study and focus group discussions, between 2009 and 2010. The results show that land rental arrangements in these zones differ in terms of terms of exchange, duration, and use rights, but not in transfer rights. Additionally, the arrangements are evolving from non-monetary and non-market based transactions, to a relatively more monetary and market based transaction, under the influence of demographic and economic forces. The growth of land rental arrangements in rural farming areas, provides a path through which non-and owners, may be become land owners. Policy design must recognize the contextual differences, and differential stages of evolution of land rental arrangements at various locations in Ghana.
Keywords: Land, Rental, Evolution, trend, Policy