Beyond adaptation? The changing nature of seasonal migration in Northern Ghana in the context of climate change, agricultural decline and food insecurity

Schraven, Benjamin / Christina Rademacher-Schulz
External Publications (2015)

in: Felicitas Hillmann / Marie Pahl / Birte Rafflenbeul / Harald Sterly (eds.), Environmental change, adaptation and migration: bringing in the region, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 267-282

ISBN: 978-1-1375-3890-1

This chapter addresses the relationship between climate change and migration in smallholder communities in Northern Ghana. Traditionally, (dry) season migration has been a strategy to cope with temporary food shortages, which are increasingly exacerbated by changing rainfall patterns. Migration formerly taking place in the dry season is increasingly shifting towards the rainy season, which reduces the households’ labour force during the cultivation period and potentially lowers their food security. However, migrants perceive rainy season migration – mainly to dangerous artisanal mining sites – as more promising than farming. Partly, their remittances can compensate their absence. Nonetheless, most migrants are planning to pursue non-agricultural professions. Thus, changing migration patterns come along with shifting livelihood preferences, which may challenge common concepts of adaptation.

About the authors

Schraven, Benjamin

Political Scientist

Further experts

Aleksandrova, Mariya

Climate risk governance 

Brandi, Clara

Economy and Political Science 

Brüntrup, Michael

Agricultural Economy 

Dippel, Beatrice


Donnelly, Aiveen

Politcal Science 

Ekoh, Susan S.

Environmental Research 

Goedeking, Nicholas

Comparative Political Economy 

Gubbini, Emily

Social Science 

Kornher, Lukas


Lehmann, Ina

Political Science 

Mathis, Okka Lou

Political Scientist 

Mudimu, George Tonderai

Agricultural policy economics 

Never, Babette

Political Scientist 

Pegels, Anna


Rukundo, Emmanuel Nshakira

Development Economics 

Sakketa, Tekalign Gutu

Agricultural / Development Economics 

Srigiri, Srinivasa Reddy

Agricultural Economist