Institutional analysis of biofuel production in Northern Ghana
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The thesis studied the nature of institutional arrangement around biofuel production and how this arrangement has shaped the production outcome of biofuel companies and community development. The study was conducted in two communities of the Yendi Municipal Assembly of the Northern Region of Ghana. In this area, a biofuel company called Biofuel Africa Limited has acquired areas of land and cultivated Jatropha plantations. A total of 32 informants were interviewed to arrive at information need to answer the research questions. Theoretical propositions of legal framework, property rights and regimes and local norms were used as the bases for analyzing how jatropha production could strive in an environment where there is the lack of substantive renewable energy law. The findings showed that local norms and laws from related fields of agriculture are not enough to regulate biofuel production in the country. The study revealed that legal pluralism creates clashes among various normative systems rather than collaboration in a given economic activity like biofuel production. The findings further revealed that government agencies designated to handle upstream biofuel activities in the country are not effective in their roles except the Environmental Protection Agency. The findings also revealed that currently biofuel companies are worse off in terms of production as financial support and local people’s support are limited. Notwithstanding the challenges that the absence of a renewable energy law has created, biofuel production in the communities has provided employment opportunities resulting in an increase in local people’s income thereby improving their living standards. Facilities like dams and grinding mills have also been provided by the company to the local people.