This study explores whether the practices and activities of ASM can sustainably provide livelihoods complementary to those in smallholder agriculture in communities where both are widespread. Thus, the spotlight is primarily on ASM (and not on smallholder agriculture) because of the serious threat that unregulated artisanal mining poses to agriculture and food security in affected communities. Three countries were selected for in-depth review: Burkina Faso, Ghana and Sierra Leone. Although there are definite advantages to studying more countries, this study focused on these three countries because of the intense relationship between ASM and farming activities in these countries. Gold and diamonds, two of the most globally sought-after precious commodities, are the primary activities engaged in by ASM operators in these three countries: Gold in Ghana and Burkina Faso, and diamonds (and to some extent gold) in Sierra Leone.
This report was republished by Extractives Hub