Abstract

 

Accepted 11th January, 2021.

 

While agriculture provides the most important income and livelihood sources for rural households as a whole, the contribution of agriculture in providing livelihoods in rural communities has declined in recent period due to increasing mining activities and may continue to do so in the foreseeable future if rural livelihoods, which are basically agrarian, are not streamlined to coexist with small-scale mining. The study was designed, against this background, to simultaneously predict the three major dimensions of livelihoods among agrarian households in Small-Scale Mining Communities of Ghana using a system of structural equations to account for the cross-correlation among livelihood vulnerability, security and diversity, and bridge the gap of research inefficiency of using single-regression equation models in separately predicting the dimensions which correlate with one another.  The study was conducted in four regions of Ghana namely, Ashanti, Eastern, Western and Central Regions where small-scale mining competes rigorously with agriculture which is the main source of livelihoods in mining communities. A three-stage sampling technique was used to randomly sample 432 agrarian households for cross-sectional/primary data from six (6) Small-Scale Mining Communities in each of six (6) areas blocked out by Minerals Commission exclusively for small-scale mining in the four selected regions. Five-point Likert-scale items were used to examine household perception of the implementation of institutional framework of mining.  Household Livelihood Vulnerability (HLV) Index, Household Livelihood Security (HLS) Index and Household Livelihood Diversity (HLD) Index were respectively used to measure household vulnerability to small-scale mining, livelihood security and livelihood diversification of agrarian households in Small-Scale Mining Communities. Determinants of the dimensions of household livelihoods were estimated simultaneously in a system of structural equations using the three-stage least squares approach. The study revealed results that are relevant to livelihood development in mining communities.    A number of socio-economic and institutional factors that interact to simultaneously improve the three dimensions of livelihoods of agrarian households in Small-Scale Mining Communities were identified.

 

Keywords: Livelihood vulnerability index, livelihood security index, livelihood diversity index, small-scale mining, structural equation, three-stage least square