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