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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Crop Failures, Food Shortages and Colonial Famine Relief Policies in the Northern Territories of the Gold Coast
Author:Weiss, Holger
Periodical:Ghana Studies
Geographic terms:Ghana
Great Britain
food policy
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
Development and Technology
History and Exploration
Abstract:This study deals with the British colonial discussion on famine prevention and relief in the Northern Territories of the Gold Coast (now Ghana). During the colonial period, food shortages were reported almost every second year. During the 1920s, a discussion was started among the colonial officials about the fear of desiccation and overpopulation, but before 1930 not much was done apart from reporting about the problems faced in various localities. A decade of locust invasions - together with the introduction of indirect rule in the North - prompted a change in attitude in the colonial government and the first plans for public famine relief were drafted. For the next decade, public famine relief was made up of two different schemes: one, where the Native Authorities would declare a ban on food exports, and another, where the colonial government would try to organize the importation of grain to famine stricken areas. Food-for-work schemes were applied during the 1930s, whereas government grain was sold at fixed prices in the markets during the 1940s and later decades. During the 1950s, an early warning system, which included close monitoring of the progress of the farming season, proved quite effective. The 1960s would, again, be a decade of rumours and ad hoc solutions. Notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]