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 

Bauer, Steffen

Political scientist 

Beck, Tanja

Political Science 

Brandi, Clara

Economy and Political Science 

Brüntrup, Michael

Agricultural Economy 

Dippel, Beatrice


Ekoh, Susan S.

Environmental Research 

Hägele, Ramona

Political Scientist 

Iacobuta, Gabriela

Climate and sustainable development policy 

Kuhn, Sascha

Social Psychology 

Lehmann, Ina

Political Science 

Malerba, Daniele


Mathis, Okka Lou

Political Scientist 

Never, Babette

Political Scientist 

Pegels, Anna


Rukundo, Emmanuel Nshakira

Development Economics 

Sakketa, Tekalign Gutu

Agricultural / Development Economics 

Srigiri, Srinivasa Reddy

Agricultural Economist