Food Security in the Midst of Our Mined Lives: Perspectiveson Food Security and Mining in the Asutifi District of Ghana

Author(s): Jones Opoku-Ware, Nicholas Kutor

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Abstract: Mining inevitably impacts the livelihoods of mining communities in a number of ways. Effects on food production and ultimately food security have been argued variously in the literature. In this study, the mining operations in the Asutifi district and its relationship with supply of foodstuffs in the local district markets as well as food insecurity areanalysed. Using quantitative techniques, semi- structured questionnaires were distributed to 150 respondents in the Asutifi district and responses analysed using frequencies, Cross tabulation, Chi-Square (χ2) and Analysis of Variance (ANOVA). The study found out that crop yield has reduced since mining started and residents largely attributed it to fertility loss from mining activities. Respondents also noted that the reduction in crop yields have affected the supply of foodstuff to the local markets in the district. However, using a Chi-Square (χ2) to test the relationship between mining operations and supply of foodstuff to the local markets, there was no statistically significant association between mining operations and reduction in supply of foodstuffs to the market. Any reduction in supply of foodstuff was largely due to chance. The ANOVA test as well the Tukey HSD Comparison test in variations in the views of respondents on mining operations and food insecurity in future in the district showed a no statistically significant variations or differences in the views of the respondents when grouped according to their respective occupations. All occupational groups agreed that mining operations in the Asutifi district poses a significant threat to food security in the future.