Factors Influencing Choice of Climate Change Adaptation Strategies by Maize Farmers in Upper East Region of Ghana

By Awunyo-Vitor, Dadson | Journal of Global Business and Technology, Fall 2017 | Go to article overview

Factors Influencing Choice of Climate Change Adaptation Strategies by Maize Farmers in Upper East Region of Ghana


Awunyo-Vitor, Dadson, Journal of Global Business and Technology


(ProQuest: ... denotes formulae omitted.)

INTRODUCTION

The economies of most African countries depend largely on agricultural activities of which over 70% are usually on subsistence level for economic growth and approximately 85% of household's food and nutritional security is derived from the agricultural sector (World Bank, 2008). Again, Sub-Saharan Africa's population is dependent on agriculture as their main source of food and livelihood (Badiane & Delgado, 1995). This means that more than half of the livelihood of rural population's livelihood depends on it. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in 2009 estimated that global food production must increase by 70% to meet demands in 2050. At the same time, climate change, water scarcity and land-use change are expected to jeopardize continued increases in agricultural production, thus making food security an emergency that calls for a variety of policies and creative solutions at global, regional and local levels. The most important prospects for increased food production in the near future are seen in areas where the current land productivity is significantly lower than the potential (Hassan & Nhemachena, 2008).

Climate change is expected to affect food and water resources that are essential for livelihoods in Africa where much of the population, especially the poor, rely on local supply systems which are sensitive to climate variation (Hassan & Nhemachena, 2008). Disruptions of the existing food and water systems will have devastating implications for development and livelihood, and are expected to add to the challenges climate change already poses for poverty eradication (De Wit & Stankiewicz, 2006; IISD, 2007). Hassan &

Nhemachena (2008) indicated that the increased temperatures are likely to exacerbate the drought conditions already experienced and may in future have significant effect on water and food availability. This has resulted in erratic rainfall pattern due to heavy rainfalls leading to floods, water pollution and soil erosion.

According to the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Ghana's agriculture system is much vulnerable to climate change, that is likely to intensify seasonal and inter-annual rainfall variation (for example, drought in one year and floods in the next year), as long-term changes and trends take place (for example, rising annual mean temperatures). Climate change may also create water and heat stress, the outbreak of pests and diseases, the loss of productive lands through the deterioration of ecosystems and additional burdens to supply chains such as increased post-harvest losses during storage and distribution. The likely consequences of such stresses include yields reduction, decreased live-stock values, post-harvest losses, and reduced food accessibility and consumption.

Several studies, see for example Hassan & Nhemachena (2008), Deressa et al. (2008), Apata (2011) and Obayelu et al. (2014), have been carried out to investigate adaptation strategies and some factors influencing farmer's choice of adaptation strategy in Africa. These have been proven to significantly reduce the impacts of climate change on agriculture. Adaptation helps farmers achieve their food, income and livelihood security objectives in the face of changing climatic and socioeconomic conditions, including climate variability, extreme weather conditions such as droughts and floods, and volatile short-term changes in local and large-scale markets (Kandlinkar & Risbey, 2000).

The perspectives of the indigenous people and the way they think and behave in relation to climate changes as well as their values and aspirations, have a significant role to play in addressing climate change (Doss & Morris, 2001). Indigenous groups are not only standby viewers of climate changes but are also actively trying to cope with the adverse climatic conditions. In some cases, farmers can draw on already existing measures for adapting to immediate adverse changing condition. …

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