Opinions Wed, 6 Oct 2010

Rural Poverty In Ghana

Rural poverty is the poverty found in the rural areas. Rural economy and rural

political system among others give rise to the poverty in the rural areas. Rural

poverty is one of the great evils of the modern world. Poverty refers to a

situation whereby a certain group of related people keep on undergoing a state

of lack of basic needs like food, shelter, health, electricity, road

accessibility, telephone services and clothing time in and time out. Although

there has been a substantial overall decline in the incidence of poverty in

Ghana, poverty still has a firm grip on rural areas, especially in the north.

In recent years, Ghana has become one of the developing countries in the

western and central African region It has developed its economy on a scale that

could enable it to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) before the 2015


In Ghana, rural poverty has become a great nemesis in the country making the

poor peoples and the deprived regions to live in absolute low standard of

living. Just over half the country’s population lives in rural areas. The

poorest parts of Ghana are the savannah regions of the north (the Northern,

Upper East and Upper West regions), where chronic food insecurity is widespread

and livelihoods are more vulnerable. There is also a wide disparity in income

between people living in the drought-prone northern plains, and those living in

the south, where there are two growing seasons and greater economic


There is spatial unbalanced development in the country; this development comes

in the form of economic, social, political and even cultural or religious

levels. This is in real terms because taking into consideration the development

pattern of the country, the development level of the southern part of the

country is higher than that of the northern part. Mean while in Ghana the total

population as in 2008 was about 23,350,927.0, the total population of those

living in rural areas was about 11,670,793.3, and among these peoples about

4,574,951.0 are poor.

Another fact that can not be left out is the unequal technology advancement

within the country. The northern part of the country is popularly known for

farming ,which most of them are small scale subsistence farmers and even these

farmers lack infrastructure and equipment for storing, processing and marketing

their products. The technology levels within southern part of the country are

higher than the technology levels in the northern part of the country. The

northern part produces a lot of agricultural products such as kola nuts, yam,

groundnut and also cattle etc, and therefore can not be left out in terms of

technology because the use of technology will help in the increment of the

already producing products. This technology can be in the form of irrigational

system, modern form of fertilizer application etc.

Education is also a major factor that has added to the level of rural poverty

within the country. The educational structure within the country has been as it

is since the time of colonialism when the elites (the colonial masters) and the

rich only live and work and also educate their children in the big cities which

are all concentrated in the southern part of the country. As the Executive

Director of the Danquah institute , Gabby Asare Otchere Darko said, the

necessary things that can help the youth of today is through the equipment of

education, skills, and jobs. Without these things, poverty in the rural areas

can not be alleviated.

In order to overcome their present state of living, the government and

non-governmental agencies must come to their aid in the form of helping them

market their products and transfer of resources in concessional terms-terms that

are more" softer" or generous than loans obtain in the world's capital market.






Columnist: Lamptey, Alfred