Social and economic impacts of agricultural productivity intensification: The case of brush park fisheries in Lake Volta
The intensification of agricultural productivity through technological innovation has often been reported to induce considerable social and economic transformation in the rural communities where those innovations are introduced. This paper investigates those changes in the case of acadja, a particular technique for intensifying fishing, which has been adopted in various parts of the developing world. Using the case of Lake Volta in Ghana, the paper investigates the social and economic impacts of this technique, looking in particular into issues of income, assets and (re)distribution of the wealth created by those acadjas. Our analysis shows that the impact of acadjas on fishing communities is mixed. While acadja certainly helps to enhance the supply of protein-rich food and may have trickle down effects at the community level, those positive contributions are greatly reduced by other more negative effects. The data show in particular that acadjas are not a poor-neutral technology in the sense that their contribution to household income seems to benefit disproportionably the wealthiest owners. As such, acadja fisheries often create negative sentiments amongst the households who cannot afford investing in this technology, creating a situation which may lead to social tension and intra-community conflicts.
Read full paper https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agsy.2009.06.001