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Business News of Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Source: Daily Guide

AGRA Targets Smallholder Farmers

Alliance for Green Revolution Africa (AGRA), in collaboration with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and the Science and Technology Policy Research Institute (CSIR-STEPRI), has launched a research project on the negative effect of climate change on agricultural productivity in Ghana.

The project, which started on November 1st, 2012 and ends on May, 31 2015, is aimed at improving food security and reducing income volatility for smallholder farmers by enhancing their adaptation to climate change and variability in the breadbasket regions of Ghana.

According to AGRA, the issue of climate change “is exacerbated by policy gaps and low awareness levels both within government officials, policymakers, farmers and other stakeholders.”

It however noted that a few interventions have been put in place to enable smallholder farmers adopt best agricultural practices that improve their adaptation strategies to climate change.

At the launch of the project, Dr. Nelson Obirih-Opareh, the National Policy Hub Coordinator, AGRA stated that “government’s strategies have, in the main, failed to set priorities, interventions and targets which respond to climate change. This is evidenced by the fact that sectoral policies such as agricultural policies have not to date prioritised smallholder farmer adaptation to climate change.”

This, he said, highlights the need to improve inter-sectoral integration in the interest of climate change adaptation.

In addition, the country’s climate change policy framework does not adequately enhance agricultural policy and other sector strategies comprehensively nor does it consider a broad range of impacts as well as the interrelationship between a range of factors such as social exclusion, environmental damage and structural scarcity.

“Given the fact that the impact of climate change on the livelihoods of the smallholder farmers has particular consequences for rural women, policy provisions that do not pay sufficient attention to the situation of women in the face of the debilitating impacts of climate change and weather variability are problematic,” Mr. Obirih-Opareh.

The project will take place in identified four breadbasket regions of Ghana, which are Afram Plains, Northern region, Accra Plains and the Volta region.

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