September 23, 2022

CLIMATE CHANGE & ITS IMPACT ON THE GHANAIAN AGRICULTURE SECTOR

Climate change is not just an issue of environment, but also an issue of development.

Chibeze Ezekiel, 2020 Goldman Environmental Prize Winner

WHAT IS CLIMATE CHANGE?

Climate change, long known as the change in the normal climate of the planet with respect to temperature, rainfall, and wind that are especially caused by human activities has been one of banes in global agriculture. With delayed and even absent occurrences of needed climatic phenomena, it is becoming more and more difficult to engage in successful farming enterprises and to realize the expected agricultural productivity. The current trend in climate change resulted in the absence (delay) of the harmattan conditions which normally set the tone for flowering and fruit formation for the upcoming season.

WHAT IS GOING ON CURRENTLY IN THE CLIMATE CHANGE SPACE?

  • At the global level, there are preparations ongoing for the 26th edition of the Conference of Parties. The 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) will be held in Glasgow on 1st – 12th November 2021. The COP26 summit will bring parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

  • The just ended Youth Advocacy on Rights & Opportunities(YARO) Conference where Mr. Hajei Bennin, the Executive Director stated in 1995, 298000 jobs which are equivalent to 4.41% of working hours were lost in Ghana due to heat stress. He also stated that climate change was further estimated to lead to about 1 million jobs in the country with a 5.58% loss of working hours.

  • Ghana reviews its Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) to create the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) that state the voluntary contributions we as a country want to make available towards the fight against climate change.

  • In an interview with All Agricgh, the Executive Coordinator for the Strategic Youth Network for Development Chibeze Ezekiel revealed there have been conscious efforts by the Ministry of Finance to attract sponsorship from the Green Climate Fund.

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By 2030, 2.2% of total working hours worldwide worth USD 2,400 billion the equivalent of 80 million full-time jobs will be lost because of higher temperatures

INTERNATIONAL LABOUR ORGANIZATION

WHAT IS THE EFFECT ON AGRICULTURE GROWTH?

The Ghanaian agriculture sector has seen major growth since 2014 as displayed above. The sector grew an additional 1.4% between 2014 and 2015, 0.6% from between 2015 and 2016, 3.2% between 2016 and 2017 but fell 1.3% between 2017 and 2018, 0.2% between 2018 and 2019, and by 0.1% between 2019 and 2020. There has been a major decline in growth from 2017 till date and I dare say climate change has played a major part in it.

‘’Climate change in Ghana is projected to affect its vital water resources, energy supplies, crop production and food security. With its three northern regions the most vulnerable, Ghana is already experiencing increased extreme weather conditions with higher incidences and more prolonged periods of flooding and droughts. High temperatures will further increase, and rainfall patterns will be less predictable’’. Climate Change Profile Ghana, 2018.

In April 2018, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands published the above article that stressed on what we are now experiencing i.e prolonged periods of flooding like we had in the north last year, high temperatures in Accra and less predictable rainfall patterns and weather conditions like we have in nationwide.

‘’Climate change also had its part to play. Naturally we were supposed to have the dry harmattan conditions which put the plants in a condition to flower but that did not happen and coupled with the closure of boarders that came with the corona, major processors reduced intake of fruits drastically’’ A concerned mango farmer stated.

From 2008 – 2018, USD 30 billion was lost in sub-Saharan and North Africa as a result of declines in crop and livestock production in the aftermath of disasters.

FAO

CLIMATE CHANGE SOLUTIONS: WHAT HAS BEEN DONE?

Green friendly projects

The Governments of Ghana and Switzerland signed a bilateral Agreement which sets the framework conditions for implementation of Article six of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. In effect, Ghana will receive finance from Switzerland for “green” friendly projects with the Swiss taking carbon credits from Ghana to meet its climate commitments without compromising Ghana’s climate actions the 2021 Budget Statement states.

Climate Smart Agriculture

The Ministry in collaboration with Ministry of Environment Science Technology and Innovation (MESTI), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Forest Services Division (FSD) and Wildlife Division (WD) of the Forestry Commission facilitated the implementation of climate smart agriculture (CSA) technologies that ensures: Sustainable harnessing and use of critical production resources (land, water and natural vegetation cover) which support food production; increase the resilience of agricultural production systems against global climate change. (2021 Budget Report)

Sustainable Projects

The Ministry under the Sustainable Land and Water Management Project (SLWMP) supported over 40,000 farmers in the 12 project districts to implement sustainable practices on a total of 16,317 ha of land. Ten dugouts have also been constructed in the project area to serve as watering points for wildlife and cattle

Adaptation Fund Project

  • 10 dams rehabilitated in 10 communities in four Northern Regions (Northern, Upper West, Upper East and Savannah),
  • 24 women-led agro processing facilities constructed with 1,260 direct beneficiaries, 29 fish farms established in 29 communities with over 970 direct beneficiaries;
  • 50 dry season gardens with 2,377 direct beneficiaries
  • 50 community based beekeeping associations established in 50 project communities with 996 direct beneficiaries

Climate Change Mitigation Program

A total of 54,000 Improved Charcoal Stoves were distributed under the climate change mitigation program across the country in 2020. This project is to address the exposure of women and children to carbon monoxide emissions from charcoal for cooking as well as reduce deforestation.

THE WAY FORWARD

  • Enforcing the law
  • There has to be a conscious effort to bring on board the private sector
  • Invest more in renewable energy
  • Climate adaptation policies

What is the way forward in your opinion?

Let us know in the comments below.

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