Development of Rural Agriculture in Ghana: A Sustainable Solution to Alleviating Rural & Urban Poverty, Addressing the Food Crisis, and Adapting to Climate
Coastal Network Consortium has been in touch with partners to work on a proposed project that will assess existing rural agriculture in five low-income regions in Ghana to investigate the presence, forms and role of rural agriculture in contributing to food security, and to enhancing households’ nutritional and economic levels. In addition, the proposed research will aim to examine how rural agriculture may play a role in enhancing environmental sustainability and helping communities adapt to the effects of climate change which will identify the potential for increased investment in key value chains to deliver benefits for poor smallholder farmers; identify value chains with significant potential for smallholder impact; assess potential and effective investor interest in these value chains; analyse existing programmes and investments in these five regions and propose opportunities for this programs.
This proposed project will further link smallholder farmers in the five regions of Ghana (Central, Western, Volta, Ashanti, Eastern and Brong Ahafo Regions) to agribusinesses to enhance growth by helping them access the assets they need to increase their productivity, competitiveness and incomes. The project component is intended to promote climate change adaptation under Smallholder Agriculture Programme with smart marketing approaches to strengthen each part of the value chain, which in turn ensures more profits for small farmers in Ghana and create a favourable environment for smallholder farmers, particularly for women and youth, to engage in profitable agriculture businesses.
The negative impacts of increasingly variable weather associated with climate change are already becoming evident
In the larger economic context, farm products and food markets in Ghana, most especially from the established two (2) major small holder farmers regions (Central and Brong Ahafo) have suffered from a lack of public and private sector investment in infrastructure, extension services, inconsistent and limited supply of farming inputs, such as certified seeds, organic and inorganic fertilizer, finance, risk insurance, and appropriate water management and irrigation. This has made deployment, engagement, and investment in agriculture risky and unattractive to the average young person in these five regions. However, with appropriate policies, public and private sector strategic interventions, suitable technologies, and access to innovative agriculture financing, young people can improve their livelihoods while contributing to economic growth and poverty reduction (AGRA, 2015).
One of the key sectors that is already and will increasingly be affected by climate change is agriculture. This is particularly true for agriculture in developing countries, and especially for countries like Ghana. Rapid and uncertain changes in rainfall patterns and temperature regimes threaten food production, increase the vulnerability of Ghanaian smallholder farmers, and can result in food price shocks and increased rural poverty
Climate change will influence crop distribution and production and increase risks associated with farming. Crop yields have already experienced negative impacts, underlining the necessity of taking adaptive measures. While a few areas, mainly in temperate latitudes, may experience improved conditions for production, globally, climate change is expected to reduce cereal production by 1% to 7% by 2060. There is also substantial variation in likely impacts by crop, irrigated versus rain-fed agriculture, and geographic region. At least 22% of the cultivated area under the world’s most important crops is projected to experience negative impacts from climate change by 2050, with as much as 56% of the land area in sub-Saharan Africa. Impacts may be relatively small up to 2050, but are expected to become progressively worse in the second half of the century.
Detailed Information On Major Crops Production
The crop production sector possesses tremendous areas for investment which would rank in high returns. Raw materials such as maize, cassava, sugar cane, oil palm, citrus and Copra / Coconut are more available for processing. Farmers could be supported with irrigation facilities to facilitate all year round production of crops and vegetables for the local market and export.
The project is aimed at producing quality horticultural crops such as Pineapple, Chili Peppers, Cassava, Vegetables and other fruit crops, for domestic and international markets. More pineapple, pepper and cassava farms are being established. The region is looking forward to encourage more farmers to establishing banana and other tree crops.
- Helping 200,000 small farmers and allied agribusinesses to take advantage of local, regional, and global market opportunities. It is designed on the premise that the horticulture industry can be transformative for rural income, employment generation, and food security.
- To improve food security and nutrition, and raise incomes for over 200,000 smallholder farmers in the five regions of Ghana
- To ensure opportunities for 120,000 women and youth in high value horticulture value chains.
- The project will equip Ghanaian 10,000 young graduates and undergraduates with knowledge, skills, and attitudes to better identify and seize opportunities within existing value chains and growth sectors in a changing economy.