Economic Restructuring, Matriliny and Intrahousehold Resource Allocation : Cases from the Suhum/Kraboa-Coaltar District of Ghana
AuthorOware, Percy Otwerefoo
Many debt-ridden sub-Saharan African countries, including Ghana, adopted the International Monetary Fund’s and the World Bank’s neoliberal market-based structural adjustment programmes (SAPs) to fine-tune their economies in the early 1980s. The policy aim was to restructure production capacities in order to improve trade, improve growth and improve debt-servicing capabilities, as well as foster an overall institutional framework characterized by free markets and strong private property rights. Ever since market efficiency has come to underlie the general practice of development. Despite claims of SAPs being mere technical tools for addressing problems endemic to national economies and enabling societal development, they involve sets of universalising cultural assumptions. Their market orientations privilege certain life ways as every economic policy is embedded within locally-situated repertoires and experiences. The agricultural sector policies particularly bring certain cultural precepts to the understanding of crop production and domestic economic behaviour, which are at variance with processes within the households that mostly cultivate cocoa for export and staple food items – such as maize, cassava and plantains – in Ghana. Households link people to the macro structures that dispense valued resources and offer new forms of opportunities, making diverse intra-household processes relevant in effective policy design and implementation. As a result, the present study examined aspects of the contemporary fall-outs of the agricultural sector policies through how Ghanaian matrilineal cocoa farm households frame rights and obligations, organize routine activities, make allocative decisions and share diverse resources among their members.
PublisherUniversitetet i Tromsø
University of Tromsø
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