Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Ghana’s food security threatened as drought predicted

Adnan Adams Mohammed

Image result for agric minister
It has been predicted that, Ghana is likely to experience drought in the near future if much is not done to ameliorate the impact of climate change.

According to prediction,  the Northern part of Ghana will be the hardest hit should there be drought because of the nature of the climate in the three regions of the North.

Senior Research Fellow at IEA, Professor John Asafu-Adjaye disclosed recently that, Ghana is at risk of having a repetition of the 1983 and 2007 droughts experienced by the country in the next few years as climate change becomes more evident.

He remarked, “This particular reason focused on the Northern Regions, the three Northern Regions because that’s where the climate change is going to impact more negatively. In fact, it’s going to impact in the whole of the country but the northern part will feel the brunt of the climate change because already it is one of the hottest areas and it is going to get hotter.”

“There’s been several events in the last 20 or 30 years and some of you may remember the early 1980s where we had droughts as well as floods and the worse point of this period was in 1983 and the droughts also affected the whole country and if you remember that was also the year, the migrants from Nigeria was sent back to Ghana and there was a lot of starvation in Ghana. There was also another episode in 2007, maybe not as serious as the 1983 one but this sought of cycle can be expected to happen more frequently in the future as a result of climate change,” he disclosed.

The Senior Research Fellow at IEA observed that the research also concluded that by 2050 the temperature across Ghana is expected to increase by between 2.1-2.4 degrees centigrade.

He noted that this development may result in harsher weather conditions in the Northern part of the country and increase the poverty level there since majority relies on agriculture for survival

“Northern Region we all know is among the poorest regions in the country and due to the location as well as other challenges. It is going to get drier, it is going to increase poverty and already the poverty levels are high but this could worsen with the effect of climate change” he stated.

Prof. Asafu-Adjaye proposed the creation of irrigation dams and lauded the government for the plans to construct a dam in all districts of the regions of North to provide all year round water.

The research findings were presented during a roundtable discussion held at the Ambassador Birgit Storgaard Dialogue Center, IEA, on the theme “Technological and Market Options for Managing Climate Change-Induced Risks for Smallholder Farmers in Ghana: Evidence from Northern Ghana”.

The research was sponsored by DANIDA but led by a team of Ghanaians researchers with assistance from Danish counterparts.