In the absence of any effective adaptation, the United Nations Foundation has predicted that global yields of staple crops could decline up to 30 per cent by 2050.
The Executive Director of the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana, Mr Charles Kwowe Nyaaba who mentioned this at a press briefing in Accra yesterday added that currently, more than 750 million people were experiencing severe food insecurity issues globally as a result of climate change effects and other factors.
“In Ghana, the average temperatures increased per decade stands at 0.21°C, and this is expected to rise within the interval of 1.7°C to about 2.04°C by 2030 (IPCC 2019),” he said.
Mr Nyaaba noted that since climate change directly influenced temperatures and precipitation trends as well as extreme events such as drought and flooding, the agriculture sector was unambiguously the most vulnerable sector.
“The Government of Ghana initiatives that aims at addressing food security in an environmentally friendly manner through the ‘Planting for Food and Jobs programme’ and ‘One village one dam’ have not helped to reduce the vulnerability of Ghanaian smallholder farmers to the vagaries of the climate change,” he added.
Explaining, he said One Village One Dam programme which was aimed at providing all year-round water for farmers especially in the northern parts of the country had now become a fiasco as the dams were unusable in the dry seasons.
The Pwalugu Multi-purpose dam, he said had also not received the needed funding to complete it, leading to the project being stalled after 35 months of sod -cutting.
Mr Nyaaba further said, since the agricultural investment impacted negatively on the environment, agroforestry and reduced agricultural contributions leading to high level of poverty among small holder farmers in the country, government must take immediate actions.
“We are asking for an immediate order to ban the activities of all illegal mining in the country to safeguard our lands, forestry and environment,” he added.
He lamented that though agricultural development in Ghana was dependent on irrigation, the country still had less than two per cent of its agricultural lands on irrigation stressing that government should revisit the One Village One dam initiative and also seek alternative funding arrangements for the process.
Mr Nyaaba further indicated that the government should commit budget allocation for rigorous mitigation and adaptation measures to be adopted to avert further effects of climate change on small holder farmers, especially women and young people in the country.
“The current food price hikes, balance of payment challenges and depreciation of the cedi is partly due to the climate change impact that has affected farmers and reduced their productivity,”
“Increasing climate change financing, investing in climate change adaptation, irrigation development and water conservation will go a long way to reduce climate change impact on the poor,” he said.
BY RAISSA SAMBOU