Climate change impacting food security in Ghana

• June 12, 2013
Farmer Ghana TckTckTck

700,000 people in Ghana are facing food insecurity because of climate change, according to a new survey. Creative Commons: Neil Palmer, CIAT, 2010

700,000 people in Ghana are at risk of hunger as climate change takes it toll on the country’s food security, according to a survey from the World Food Programme.

The survey found that 16% of households – representing 680,000 people – in the north of the country, are either severely or moderately food insecure due to increases in drought, storms and flooding because of climate change.

Experts say the development and promotion of disease and pest tolerant crop varieties; the development of Phosphorous efficient and Nitrogen fixing crop varieties, such as cowpea and soybean; and improved farming systems could all help address the threats facing households in Ghana.

“Severe warming, floods and drought may reduce crop yields. Livestock may be at risk, both directly from heat stress and indirectly from reduced quality of their food supply, while fisheries would be affected by changes in water temperature,” Hans Adu-Dapaah, director of the Crop Research Institute (CRI), told IANS.

He said evidence of climate change in Ghana was that the mean annual temperature had increased by one degree Celsius since 1960, on an average rate of 0.21 degree Celsius per decade.

Adu-Dapaah said total annual rainfall in Ghana has shown a decreasing trend between 1960 and 2006, with an average of 2.3 mm per month per decade, adding that the long term trends were difficult to identify because annual rainfall in Ghana was highly variable on inter-annual and inter-decadal timescales.

Adu-Dapaah said the impact of climate change was increasingly becoming severe and that long-term projections indicated crop yields could fall by up to 50 percent by 2020 and net revenues from crops could drop by as much as 90 percent by 2100.

Read more: IANS >>

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