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Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Ghana’s Crop Production Continues to be Devastated by Climate Change

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CCAFS East African regional program selects six websites to check interventions that tackle dangers associated to local weather change and variability. Featured right here is the Decrease Nyando
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Ghana, like many creating international locations within the tropical zone of West Africa, is already experiencing local weather change impacts that embrace unpredictable rainfall patterns, rising temperatures, and the higher frequency of utmost climate occasions together with floods. Local weather change additionally impacts agricultural manufacturing in Ghana, particularly in northern Ghana. Based on UNEP, Local weather change is predicted to: render rainfall patterns more and more unpredictable and erratic; enhance imply temperature by 1.5 – 5.2°C by 2090; and enhance sea degree by 34.5cm by 2090. That is more likely to have severe implications for the agricultural sector, which contributes 54% of Ghana’s GDP.

Agriculture additionally accounts for greater than half of Ghana’s labor pressure, which has itself been severely affected by altering local weather. Crop manufacturing has confirmed to be one of the crucial climate-sensitive sectors of the nation as an entire. It’s estimated that Ghana has skilled a 1.0°C increase in temperature during the last 60 years. This has considerably weakened crop manufacturing in northern Ghana, an space that’s traditionally marginalized and characterised by excessive poverty and malnutrition. Attributable to their over-dependence on rainfall, farmers in northern Ghana are challenged by altering and more and more unpredictable wet seasons. 

Ghana, like most sub-Saharan African international locations, is predominantly agrarian, with crop manufacturing being the principle driver of the agriculture sector. Greater than 80% of growers are smallholder farmers, and their practices are characterised by low labor enter and low expertise use, excessive rain-dependence and a low adoption of irrigation. Lower than 2% of arable lands in Ghana is below any type of irrigation. Thus, the over-dependence on amount and sample of rainfall for crop manufacturing in Ghana exposes the economic system and livelihood of residents to fluctuation in manufacturing. This has been exacerbated by rising unpredictability of climate brought on by local weather change. For instance, the drought of 1983 lower cereal manufacturing by some 15% resulting in widespread poverty, starvation and deaths.

A World Financial institution report simply final yr revealed that temperatures in Ghana have risen by virtually 1°C for the reason that Nineteen Sixties, with Ghana projected to extend imply temperatures by 1.0°C to three.0°C, by 2050 and upwards of two.3°C to five.3°C by the yr 2100. The alarming information additionally confirmed that local weather change is predicted to boost the danger and depth of water shortage and drought throughout Ghana. Water, agriculture, forestry, and human well being are the principle sectors affected throughout the nation. Ghana’s rainfall itself is very inconsistent and will stay variable over the subsequent 75 to 80 years with heavy rainfall occasions seeking to enhance over time.

Lately, results of local weather change on meals manufacturing has been particularly felt within the dry Guinea Savannah spanning the 5 northern areas of Ghana, which has just one wet season in comparison with the two wet seasons of southern Ghana. Farmers within the north constantly adapt their practices with the pursuit of climate and local weather info for knowledgeable decision-making. Nevertheless, the widespread adjustments in climate patterns, has not solely diminished agricultural productiveness, but in addition triggered flood occasions – current one in August 2021 that destroyed about 6,880 acres of farmland within the Higher West Area, affecting a complete of 6,623 farmers – which have considerably impacted livelihoods of inhabitants. Quite a bit must be accomplished to handle the influence on local weather change on crop manufacturing in these areas. The federal government, in an try to cut back famers’ over-reliance on rainfall, has initiated the development of the 1 billion USD Pwalugu Multi-Goal dam for the irrigation of 25,000 hectares of hectares of agricultural lands, in addition to the rehabilitating present irrigation amenities with the capability to irrigate 7,817 hectares of farmlands. The federal government additionally started their “One Village, One Dam” coverage in 2017, the place each village in northern Ghana is to be supplied with an earth dam to facilitate year-round crop manufacturing. Although useful, these initiatives will solely barely transfer the needle, and thus extra integrative approaches needs to be adopted to markedly decelerate the influence of local weather change and enhance agricultural output in northern Ghana

Considerably, the interaction between crop manufacturing and local weather change is bi-directional:  sustainable crop manufacturing can contribute to mitigating local weather change by sequestering carbon, lowering the usage of inorganic fertilizers and therefore climate-warming nitrous oxide emissions, lowering flooding-related methane emissions. New improvements and applied sciences should be launched in order that Ghanaian farmers can have simpler crop administration techniques, which can enhance meals manufacturing, decrease general prices, whereas slowing down local weather change by lowering greenhouse emissions and sequestering extra carbon. Very crucial to that is the introduction of local weather sensible agriculture (CSA) interventions which the FAO defines as farming strategies that remodel agri-food techniques in direction of inexperienced and local weather resilient practices, and embrace on-farm actions reminiscent of:  planting varieties which can be high-yielding and tolerant to biotic and abiotic cues; utilizing modern Ag applied sciences that enhance crop progress and physiology;  encouraging farming observe reminiscent of– intercropping, crop rotation, blended cropping, elevated use of natural fertilizers and manures, efficient irrigation.

On the nationwide degree, two important applications have been formulated with the long-term aim of lowering greenhouse gasoline emissions. First, the Inexperienced Ghana Undertaking, launched in June 2021 to revive Ghana’s depleted forest cowl via tree planting, has resulted within the planting of some 25 million timber throughout the nation. Secondly, below Ghana’s Built-in Energy Sector Grasp Plan 2019, the federal government is dedicated to scaling up the penetration of renewable vitality by 10% by 2030; thus, regularly transferring away from fossil-based vitality manufacturing. These insurance policies would in the end scale back greenhouse emissions, decelerate the devastating impact of local weather change, and enhance agriculture output and meals safety.

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