Academic journal article Research in Applied Economics

Determinants of Choice of Climate Change Adaptation Strategies in Northern Ghana

Academic journal article Research in Applied Economics

Determinants of Choice of Climate Change Adaptation Strategies in Northern Ghana

Article excerpt

Abstract

This paper used binary logistic regression model to analyze factors that affect the choice of climate change adaptation strategies of farmers in Northern Ghana. Using semi-structured questionnaires, 155 farmers were randomly sampled from purposively selected three Northern Regions in Ghana. The empirical results of the binary logistic regression models revealed different effects of the factors on farmer's choice of adaptation strategies. Farming experience, farm income, access to phones, mixed farming, farmers' perception on reduction in rainfall amount and access to weather information significantly and positively affects the choice of at least five climate change adaptation strategies. Following the findings of this study, agricultural extension service should be intensified through organization of adult education programmes or field schools for farmers to educate them on some climate change adaptation strategies. Agro climatic information centers should be established at vantage points in farming communities to enable farmers seek for information to help them revise their climate change adaptation decisions for specific time and agricultural activity. Lastly, affordable climate change adaptation technologies should be designed and make available to poor farmers to adopt.

Keywords: Adaptation strategies, climate change, logit regression and Northern Ghana

(ProQuest: ... denotes formulae omitted.)

1. Introduction

Climate change has become a great concern to farmers especially those found in tropical regions like Africa. According to Deressa (2008) and Kurukulasuriya and Mendelsohn (2006), agriculture in Africa is negatively affected by climate change and care need to be taken to avert this situation. Farmers in Sub-Saharan African countries are adversely affected by the current changes in climatic conditions. Ontoyin (1993) and Stephens (1996) empirically established the evidence of climate change in Ghana by quantifying the significant changes in temperature. Stephens (1996) and Stutley (2010) indicated that high temperatures reduce crop yield in Ghana. Ghana as a tropical country is gradually experiencing the impact of climate change on its agriculture. A study conducted by Mabe (2011) indicated that climate change is evident in the Northern Region of Ghana. Farmers in the Northern Ghana which comprises Upper West, Upper East, Northern and some parts of Brong Ahafo and Volta Regions are likely to be the most affected due to the harsh weather conditions which are experienced in those areas.

Tonah (1993) and Mensah-Bonsu (2003) established that planting period for crops in Northern Ghana has changed from early April in 1960s to late April or early May in recent years due to the unpredictable nature of rains and the changing environmental conditions especially rainfall amounts and distribution. Smallholder farmers in Northern Ghana are likely to experience the negative effects of climate change in recent years. This is due to the fact that smallholder farmers lack the capacity to adequately adapt to the changing climatic conditions which are bedeviling the regions. Irrespective of this, some of the farmers in Northern Ghana adapt to climate change by planting early maturing crop varieties, use of fertilizers, farming on fallowed land and mulching with the main purpose of reducing the impacts of climate change on agricultural production (Mabe et al., 2012).

Mendelsohn (1998) and Smit and Skinner (2002) have demonstrated that without adaptation, agricultural production will be severely affected by climate change with the resultant effects of making farmers more vulnerable. Farmers' adaptation to climate change is based on their expectation about the possible benefits that may be generated in future. This means there are some costs associated with adaptation to climate change. This cost that one incur in adapting to climate change is what Maddison (2006) called ?traditional adaptation cost? …

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