ERG Colloquium - Hanson Nyantaki-Frimpong

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

In this presentation, I explain why along the Ghana-Burkina Faso border, floodplain farming remains popular when it manifestly causes more problems. I draw upon Karl Marx’s theory of relative surplus population and interviews with farmers. I argue that the creation of relative surplus people through mining-induced land displacement compels farmers to engage in floodplain agriculture. For landless women, an additional pressure is gendered subjectivities linked to norms of being good wives. To reduce vulnerability to flooding, farmers often raise artificial levees or alter fields to drain water more quickly. I assess the maladaptive outcomes of these practices. Ultimately, I show how climate change maladaptation scholarship could be advanced to focus more critically on political-economic dynamics, gender, and intersectionality.

Hanson Nyantakyi-Frimpong is an Associate Professor of Geography at the University of Denver. His research focuses on the human dimensions of global environmental change, and sustainable agriculture and food systems.