Agriculture is honked as the backbone of Ghana’s economy, providing livelihoods for the vast majority of the population, and employing nearly 50% of the nation’s labour force in small family farms. The greater part of production is generated through rain-fed farming. According to Agricinghana Media research output, in 2010 the area under crop production was estimated at 3.6 million hectares; out of which only 11,000 hectares was under irrigation. This shows the extent to which agricultural production for food and export is highly dependent on climate conditions.
For several years, the impact of climate change is felt in the sector: the rainy seasons are starting late; the rainfall patterns are more variable and less predictable across the country; sudden and heavy downpours cause flooding, which destroys the crops and leads sometimes to severe damage through erosion. The need to adapt agriculture to climate change is therefore of high priority, as more drastic scenarios of up to 4ºC temperature increase and an annual rainfall decrease from 9-27% are predicted by the year 2100.
Awareness about the need for climate change adaptation capacity in the agriculture sector has started at the policy level, and a limited number of projects have been initiated, mostly funded and implemented by external development agencies. Some of these projects are also being implemented in collaboration with some public-sector agencies such as the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), Ministry of Lands and Forestry, Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture, and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Specialised Media firms such as Agricinghana Media are equally spearheading efforts to effectively mainstream climate change into agricultural interventions and making available information for interested entities to access available Green Climate Financing (GCF). Furthermore, Agricinghana Media has provided very useful knowledge database for climate adaptation measures by building institutional memory for development interventions in Ghana.
Laudable as these interventions may be, the need to actively absorb key private sector technology service providers to help with the deployment of appropriate climate mitigation solutions is very essential. Private-sector companies tend to focus on long-term sustainability and viability of climate solutions.
These companies have inventively introduced healthy business models in their operations and have proven climate-smart solutions to partner with relevant public-sector agencies and development agencies to reduce climate-related yield losses for farmers. Additionally, they have invested in the resources to support climate change adaptation farming measures to provide evidence-based resources in the preparation of policy and strategy documents to influence sector policy and programming.
Writer: Solomon Elorm Allavi
The writer is a Technical Lead and Remote Sensing Specialist at Syecomp Ghana Ltd, a Ghanaian technology company focused on provision of satellite and drone imagery services, localised weather forecast information services and geospatial survey and mapping services for farmers and other agribusiness clients. Contact him via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org and/or Cellphone: 0201442191
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