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1 Rural Out-migration of Young Peasants: a Contemporary Challenge or an Opportunity for Poverty Reduction and Development Dr. Joseph Assan, Trinity College.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Rural Out-migration of Young Peasants: a Contemporary Challenge or an Opportunity for Poverty Reduction and Development Dr. Joseph Assan, Trinity College."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Rural Out-migration of Young Peasants: a Contemporary Challenge or an Opportunity for Poverty Reduction and Development Dr. Joseph Assan, Trinity College Dublin

2 2 Introduction Permanent and temporary migration is increasing in importance as livelihood strategies of peasant households and the rural poor in many developing countries.Permanent and temporary migration is increasing in importance as livelihood strategies of peasant households and the rural poor in many developing countries. Deshingkar and Anderson (2004) argue that the numbers of households involved in these patterns of movement are rising exponentially in many developing countries.Deshingkar and Anderson (2004) argue that the numbers of households involved in these patterns of movement are rising exponentially in many developing countries.

3 3 Conceptualising Structure, Agency and Development The debate surrounding the influence of structure and agency on human thought and actions is one of the central issues in development studies today (Giddens and Pierson 1997:75, Peter 2003).The debate surrounding the influence of structure and agency on human thought and actions is one of the central issues in development studies today (Giddens and Pierson 1997:75, Peter 2003). In this context agency refers to the capacity of individual humans to act independently and to make their own free choices (Giddens (1984). Structure on the other hand refers to those factors (such as customs, poverty, government policy etc) which seem to limit or influence the opportunity that individuals have.In this context agency refers to the capacity of individual humans to act independently and to make their own free choices (Giddens (1984). Structure on the other hand refers to those factors (such as customs, poverty, government policy etc) which seem to limit or influence the opportunity that individuals have.

4 4 Conceptualising Structure, Agency and Youth Migration Migration in the context of this debate and this paper is an expression of human agency in the face of existing structures externally imposed - e.g. deprivation, poverty alleviation programmes and government development policies (Assan, 2008).Migration in the context of this debate and this paper is an expression of human agency in the face of existing structures externally imposed - e.g. deprivation, poverty alleviation programmes and government development policies (Assan, 2008). Migrants decision making process is seen as actions (agency) that attempt to develop alternative systems which would enhance well-being, alleviate poverty and potentially improve capability within the existing structures of development planning and management policies.Migrants decision making process is seen as actions (agency) that attempt to develop alternative systems which would enhance well-being, alleviate poverty and potentially improve capability within the existing structures of development planning and management policies.

5 5 Conceptualising Generational Migration as Agency in Development Poverty Reduction Bryceson (2004) and Thieme (2006) emphasised that rural out-migration has increased in importance as a livelihood diversification strategy and labour seeking mechanism for peasant households exploring additional sources of income and to ensure that members of their household secure a better future.Bryceson (2004) and Thieme (2006) emphasised that rural out-migration has increased in importance as a livelihood diversification strategy and labour seeking mechanism for peasant households exploring additional sources of income and to ensure that members of their household secure a better future. Generational differences in internal migration (in the context of Giddens) and as discussed in this paper shows the diversity in the expression of human agency even within the same structure. This also posses a challenge to development planners as to the need to understand and accommodate the expressions of agency in the development policy formulation processes.Generational differences in internal migration (in the context of Giddens) and as discussed in this paper shows the diversity in the expression of human agency even within the same structure. This also posses a challenge to development planners as to the need to understand and accommodate the expressions of agency in the development policy formulation processes.

6 6 Introduction The study examines: - the nature of the migration process - the challenges, risks and hazards (including issues of social welfare) encountered by the young migrants - the impact of such movement on those left behind -the implications of contemporary child and youth migration on well- being and poverty reduction.

7 7Justification This paper contributes to theoretical debates on how household processes and economic strategies are negotiated across space and within broad range of scales.This paper contributes to theoretical debates on how household processes and economic strategies are negotiated across space and within broad range of scales. Outlines elements of exploitation and inequality encountered by young migrants in southern Ghana.Outlines elements of exploitation and inequality encountered by young migrants in southern Ghana. This study subsequently shifts attention from the north- south movement (see Awumbila and Ardayfio- Shandoff, 2008), to south-south patterns which have gained very little attention in the theoretical and policy discourses on internal migration in Ghana.This study subsequently shifts attention from the north- south movement (see Awumbila and Ardayfio- Shandoff, 2008), to south-south patterns which have gained very little attention in the theoretical and policy discourses on internal migration in Ghana.

8 8 Context In spite of efforts towards economic recovery at the national and local levels, there are high levels of poverty in rural Ghana with widening rural-urban disparity and inequality (Appiah-Kubi et al. 2007; Chant and Jones 2005; Canagarajah et al 2001). The desire to migrate and diversify livelihood activities is of critical importance in rural Ghana as it further allows the diversification of social and economic risks beyond monetary terms by ensuring social protection (Guilmoto and Sandron 2001).In spite of efforts towards economic recovery at the national and local levels, there are high levels of poverty in rural Ghana with widening rural-urban disparity and inequality (Appiah-Kubi et al. 2007; Chant and Jones 2005; Canagarajah et al 2001). The desire to migrate and diversify livelihood activities is of critical importance in rural Ghana as it further allows the diversification of social and economic risks beyond monetary terms by ensuring social protection (Guilmoto and Sandron 2001).

9 9 Methods Methods –Empirical research involving questionnaire surveys, interviews and focus group meetings was used in studying rural farm households in Akuapem North and Dangme West Districts in Southern Ghana. –The study sampled 170 out-migrants working in two urban destinations (Accra and Tema) in Southern Ghana –The household members of the sample were then interviewed to ascertain the relationship between migrant members and those left behind

10 10 Map of study Area

11 Present Research on Child Migration in Ghana Source: Ghana, LFS, 2003

12 12 Period of Migration Nature of migration Period of migration of young household members Akuapem NorthDangme WestTotal Frequency Total % % Dry season9.61.3105.9 Permanent90.498.7 16094.1 Total100.0 170100.0

13 Mobility Dynamics and Employment Networks Use of acquaintances:Use of acquaintances: According to respondents in both Accra and Tema markets, the most important condition for a successful outcome of migration are: -the type of social network (sponsorship or investment) the migrants receive; -financial support offered by close relatives and friends; -information on when and where to move to and how to find accommodation and jobs quickly. A 14-year-old boy from Dangme West narrated his experience: I came to the Tema market because my parents are very poor and a family friend promised to help me find a job in the market to save money to train as a carpenter. Some of the boys I push trucks with also migrated through people they know here. 13

14 Contact men and Human Traders The study further revealed that some adults have made a profession of arranging the movement of young migrants out of rural areas and organising their settlement in their urban destinations. The sample referred to these individuals as contact men and human traders. These include males working in and around the markets and female traders.The study further revealed that some adults have made a profession of arranging the movement of young migrants out of rural areas and organising their settlement in their urban destinations. The sample referred to these individuals as contact men and human traders. These include males working in and around the markets and female traders. A 19-year-old male migrant from Akuapem North working as a truck- pusher in the Agbogbloshi market in Accra explained: These persons act as contact men for the provision of the needs of the newcomers in the first days and/or weeks after their arrival, and this can make all the difference between failure and a decent chance of success.A 19-year-old male migrant from Akuapem North working as a truck- pusher in the Agbogbloshi market in Accra explained: These persons act as contact men for the provision of the needs of the newcomers in the first days and/or weeks after their arrival, and this can make all the difference between failure and a decent chance of success. 14

15 15

16 Interviews with two identified notorious contact men operating in Accra and Tema markets provided significant insight into their operation. Both argued that they pre-finance and arrange employment for young migrants in urban locations. The contact men explained that several migrants try to evade repayment of loans given to them or their families to finance their travel.The contact men explained that several migrants try to evade repayment of loans given to them or their families to finance their travel. They also denied having sexual relationships with the migrants and branded their respondents as ungrateful, but agreed to help rural families whose members desire to emigrate.They also denied having sexual relationships with the migrants and branded their respondents as ungrateful, but agreed to help rural families whose members desire to emigrate. These contact men have no certification or knowledge of the legal implications of their operation or of the social welfare regulations governing the trafficking of minors.These contact men have no certification or knowledge of the legal implications of their operation or of the social welfare regulations governing the trafficking of minors. 16

17 17 Types of Employment Types of Employment : Akuapem NorthDangme WestGrand Total Type of employment Total (%) Total (%) N % Farm-wage labour 6.41.37 4.1 Artisans Non-farm manual labour 57.442.186 50.6 Hawking Trading Lorry driving 26.648.762 36.6 Clerical work Technician9.67.915 8.8 Total100.0100170 100 P = 0.000P = 0.013

18 Conditions for Successful Migration

19 Highest Educational Level Personal highest educational level is also mentioned as a critical determinant in successful migration. It determines the employment avenues that the migrant can explore and the income level that s/he can attract. A 21-year-old male migrant working at the Agbogbloshi market in the Accra who works as a lorry-driver s assistant said: Most migrants engage in daily waged activities which do not necessarily require formal qualifications, but in due course opportunities could open up for the migrant to apply for qualified positions which will then transform the individual s life for the better.

20 An eighteen-year-old female migrant from Dangme West said: I have been trying to get a job as a shop assistant in a store that sells sugar in bags to the other hawkers in the market, but they declined my application because I would not write in English. J.J., a 17-year-old male migrant from Akuapem North explained: Most of the young migrants leave home with Junior Secondary School education and can hardly read or write. We also tend to forget all we have studied since our wage labour activities do not require us to read or write.

21 Gender as an indicator of Success The gender of the migrant is also considered a survival indicator because some types of employments are gender-specific. Joyce, a 15- year-old potter in the Tema central market, mentioned during the interviews that many market traders and middlemen prefer employing girls. This is because girls are traditionally known to work as hawkers in the market and potters. Another 15-year-old female migrant, Akosua, added: Most people prefer to have a female shop assistant and similarly food traders employ girls and young women. On the other hand, most truck pushers are boys, as are loaders of goods. A 17-year-old male truck-pusher said: Selling ice water for example is not gender restricted neither is the selling of fruit and vegetables by the main roads.

22 Ability to Endure Hardship Ones the ability to survive and endure harsh conditions and rough sleeping arrangements is said to be very important. A 14-year-old boy from Dangme West, who sells apples in the Tema market, mentioned that the young migrants need a high level of endurance and ability to survive the tough living conditions... Mary, a 16-year-old migrant from Dangme West added: Those of us who live in Ashiaman, (a shanty town in Tema) for example usually pay sleep rent for spending the night on the pavement outside the cinema house or in the market. The demanding income activities they undertake also require much individual strength and will power to endure, making their well being all the more precarious.

23 Coping with Rough Sleeping Arrangement The majority of migrants conceded that their sleep is not comfortable as they can only afford to sleep on cardboard and plastic bags and need to wear trousers to ward off sexual molesters and mosquitoes as discussed earlier. Addo, a 12-year-old migrant from Akuapem North complained: They take our money but put boys and girls to sleep together in the same crowded room … and some boys rape the girls in the night. This is also a cost minimisation strategy! 23

24 Social Risks and Welfare Challenges - Exposure to poor health conditions and environments Eg. Malaria, HIV, AIDs, TB, Hepatitis … -Unwanted pregnancies and maternal mortality -Drug abuse, alcoholism and gangs formation …crime A 19-year-old male youth migrant from Dangme West who acknowledged using drugs explained: The workloads I undertake make me tired and I feel that the use of drugs will enhance my strength. Drugs used include marijuana, painkillers, ecstasy tablets and steroids, which are considerably affordable compared to higher- class drugs. We also take in local gin (apeteshi) 24

25 Implications for skills Development and Poverty Reduction The household interviews revealed a gradual steady decline in the availability of farm labour over the five years prior to the study. Migrants are not able to engage in further education activities or skills development programmes Lack of constructive livelihood development initiatives for most young migrants Absence of welfare scheme No focused poverty reduction initiative that targets this group of urban dwellers Informal sector activities with no constructive support makes capacity and livelihood development limited to a few individuals

26 26 Do you receive remittances? Akuapem NorthDangme WestTotal (%) % Yes100.068.082.8 No023.517.2 Total100.0

27 27 Regularity of remittances : RegularityAkuapem NorthDangme WestTotal Frequency Total % % Regular- monthly 60.514.73140.3 Regular – quarterly 34.961.83646.8 Not regular4.623.51012.9 Total100.0 77100.0 P = 0.00

28 28 Use of remittance income : Use of remittances Akuapem NorthDangme WestTotal frequency Total % frequency% % Mainly Consumption 2967.41132.44051.9 Investment, Consumption & Loans 1227.92264.73444.2 Savings & Dowry 24.712.933.9 Total 4310034100.077100 P = 0.002

29 29Conclusion The study identified that: The study revealed that migration does not necessarily result in improvement in productive capacity and well- being The study revealed that migration does not necessarily result in improvement in productive capacity and well- being Also, generational forms of migration create risks (particularly for younger migrants) and undermines some of the objectives for migrations at the household levelAlso, generational forms of migration create risks (particularly for younger migrants) and undermines some of the objectives for migrations at the household level The impact of remittances on sampled households consumption capacity is immense.The impact of remittances on sampled households consumption capacity is immense. Remittances serve as a vital source of capital for diversification in sampled communities and rural households in Ghana. Remittances serve as a vital source of capital for diversification in sampled communities and rural households in Ghana. The impact of remittances on diversification activities is however limitedand fails to enhance innovationThe impact of remittances on diversification activities is however limited and fails to enhance innovation

30 30 -The District Assemblies need to introduce enterprise development programs with credits through the District Assembly Common Fund -This should focus on employment creation so that thriving non-farm enterprises can serve as a mechanism for small-scale local employment. -The creation and expansion of existing urban educational (eg night vocational schools and hostel facilities to accommodate vulnerable young migrants. Conclusion Implications for Development Policy and Planning


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