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PhD Dissertation: In the aftermath of the Jatropha boom. Exploring socio-political and ecological dynamics in ‘failed’ Jatropha spaces in Ghana

Early this century, investments in jatropha were strongly stimulated in response to the growing global demand for climate-friendly fuels, energy security, and rural development in the South. It was declared a "wonder crop" that would contribute to successful economic development, and its production became a "hype" in development policy. Governments became the main driver of jatropha investment by formulating policies and enacting laws that encouraged large-scale cultivation through foreign direct investment. However, the assumption that jatropha would contribute to local development was erroneous. In mid-2010, it became clear that many projects had failed and the global hype came to an end; planned investments were stopped and existing projects were halted.

This dissertation focuses on the rise and fall of jatropha investments in Ghana and the aftermath of that fall through three case studies. One is about Kobre, where the plantation site has simply been abandoned. In the area of Agogo, jatropha cultivation has been replaced by maize cultivation, and in Lolito by rice paddies. When projects fail and investments are stopped, the attention of researchers and policymakers often diminishes or disappears. However, the research underlying this dissertation focused on the dynamics in these failed jatropha spaces—that is, on the developments that have occurred since the "fall"—and examined the environmental, socioeconomic, and political consequences, and found that since the failure of jatropha investments, new dynamics have emerged in each of the chosen locations, as have new winners and losers.

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End date and time
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ONLINE
PhD candidate
R. Antwi-Bediako MSc
Dissertation
In the aftermath of the Jatropha boom. Exploring socio-political and ecological dynamics in ‘failed’ Jatropha spaces in Ghana
PhD supervisor(s)
Professor E.B. Zoomers
Co-supervisor(s)
Dr K. Otsuki
Dr A. Amsalu