Gendered Climate Vulnerability & Food Security in Ghana

Farming the Floodplain: Gendered Surplus People, Food Security, and Maladaptation to Climate Change in Northern Ghana

Friday, September 24 @ Noon

Dr. Hanson Nyantakyi-Frimpong is an Assistant Professor of geography at the University of Denver. His research focuses on the human dimensions of global environmental change, and sustainable agriculture and food systems. Hanson has just launched an exciting new research project with Dr. Ryan Stock (NMU) exploring gendered livelihoods and solar development as a climate mitigation strategy in Ghana. 

Abstract: The floodplain of the Black Volta River, traversing the Ghana-Burkina Faso international border, offers considerable potential for agriculture. Yet, it is a risk-filled landscape with acute vulnerability to flooding. In this presentation, Dr. Nyantakyi-Frimpong explains why agriculture in the floodplain remains so popular when it manifestly causes more problems. Dr. Nyantakyi-Frimpong draws upon Karl Marx’s theory of relative surplus population, and empirical fieldwork using in-depth interviews with farmers and government officials (n=68). Overall, Dr. Nyantakyi-Frimpong argues that mining-induced land displacement, which leads to landlessness and the creation of a relative surplus people, compels farmers to engage in floodplain agriculture with heightened vulnerability to climate extremes. For landless women in particular, an additional pressure is gendered responsibilities in household food provisioning, as well as subjectivities linked to norms of being good wives, mothers, and daughters-in-law. To reduce agriculture’s sensitivity to flooding, farmers often raise artificial levees on the floodplain or alter fields to drain water more quickly. Dr. Nyantakyi-Frimpong assesses the maladaptive outcomes of these practices including rebounding and shifting vulnerability, as well as eroding sustainable development options. 

Zoom Meeting ID: 981 6390 8641
Passcode: Climate



This Fall Semester

The Northern Climate Network is organizing our climate lectures around the central theme of food and agriculture. The Northern Climate Network is free and open to the public and co-sponsored by Marquette’s Climate Adaptation Task Force. All of this year’s Climate@Noon presentations will be recorded and posted on our website.

Upcoming Climate@Noon Speakers


Farming the Floodplain: Gendered Surplus People, Food Security, and Maladaptation to Climate Change in Northern Ghana

Time: Friday, September 24 at Noon

Speaker: Dr. Hanson Nyantakyi-Frimpong, University of Denver

Zoom ID: 981 6390 8641

Password: Climate


Indigenous Food Sovereignty

Time: Friday, October 15 at Noon

Speaker: Abbey Palmer, FEEDS Collective + MSU Extension

Zoom Link:

Password: Climate


Industrial Animal Agriculture, Climate Change and Racial Injustice

Time: Monday, November 8, 8:30-9:30 PM

Speaker: Christopher Sebastian, Columbia University

Zoom Link:

Password: AnimalClub


Local Organic Food Systems and Climate Change

Time: Friday, November 12 at Noon

Speaker: May Tsupros, Partridge Creek Farms

Zoom Link:

Password: Climate

Watch Past Climate@Noon Presentations

Visit the Northern Climate Network YouTube channel to watch past recordings of Climate@Noon presentations.