Effect of Small Scale Mining on Agricultural Land in Gare Gbane in the Upper East Region, Ghana
Keywords:crop production, farmers, farmlands, miners, small scale mining
Small scale mining is engaged by hundreds of people in Ghana and their activities render many farmlands unproductive and deny some residents of their livelihoods. This study investigated activities of illegal surface mining and its effects on agriculture land as well as its related implications on crop production in the Gare Gbane community. A total of 140 respondents, (farmers and miners) were interviewed. The activities of illegal small scale mining have negatively affected the agricultural lands. A total of 48.30% of the respondents own an average farm size of 1 - 3 hectares, 34.20% possess 4 - 6 hectares, 10% own 7 - 9 hectares whilst 7.50% have 10 and above hectares. The challenges faced by farmers from small scale mining activities were severe land degradation, flooding of farmlands and difficulty to access farms and transportation of farm produce to the community. Open pit is the dominant operational method used by miners in the community. It is recommended that authorities should exercise their powers by enforcing laws to drive away illegal operations so that the agriculture sector will be improved and attract the youth
into farming in the community. It is recommended that authorities should act within the laws of the land to regularize small scale mining in the area and closely monitor its operations to ensure total compliance.