Ghana launches programme to enhance resilience in agric sector, food systems against climate change

A three-year World Bank-funded programme that seeks to enhance resilience of Ghana’s agriculture sector and food systems in the face of ravaging effect of climate change, has been launched in Accra.

The “Accelerating Impact of CGIAR Climate Research for Africa-Ghana Cluster (AICCRA)-Ghana” programme will seek to bridge the gap between research institutes that produce improved technologies and development organisations that promote its adoption to ultimately improve farming practices and the livelihood of farmers.

The programme targets eight regions for implementation; Bono East, Central, Northern, North East, Oti, Savannah, Upper East and Upper West, and will focus on commodities including maize, cowpea, yam, sweet potato and tomato technologies.

Led by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), the project anchors multi-stakeholder partnership involving organisations like the Centre for Agriculture Biosciences International (CABI), the Crop Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Esoko and the International Water Management Institute.

Others are the Norwegian Institute of Bio-economy Research, Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), World Agro-forestry, the Ghana Meteorological Agency (GMA) and the Climate Change and Agriculture Department of the University of Development Studies (UDS) in the Northern Region.

The Director General of CSIR, Professor Victor Kwame Agyeman, who launched the project, said there was the urgent need to address the negative effects of climate change in line with achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

In his view, three key measures; mitigation, adaptation and resilience, were critical to reduce the impact of climate change if adopted adding that the AICCRA project would make significant contribution  in improving access to climate information services (CIS) for farmers to enhance productivity.

“Access to CIS will improve the adaptation capacity of farmers to the negative impact of climate variabilities and changes and increase farmers’ awareness of the economic benefits of using climate-adapted technologies,” he said.

Prof. Agyeman lauded the “One Health” component of the project which recognises the interconnection between people, animals, plants and the environment to promote optimal health outcomes.

Dr Victor Clottey, the Country Representative of CABI, said knowledge, technologies and decision-making tools promoted under “AICCRA-Ghana” would be of value to productive agents like farmers, especially youth and women, local bio-pesticides producers and agro-input dealers, and civil society organisations that play critical roles in the agriculture value chain.

Adding on, the IITA Ghana Country representative, Dr Richard Asare said the project which is structured around knowledge generation and sharing of effective climate-informed services, strengthening public-private partnerships and supporting the uptake of climate-smart agriculture innovations, will in the long run target all farmers across the country to boost food productivity.

BY ABIGAIL ANNOH

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