Agriculture is predominantly rainfed in Ghana where the climate is dominated by the inter tropical convergence zone and the hot, dry harmattan winds blowing from the Sahara.The south of the country experiences a bimodal rainfall regime, with a major and a minor rainfall season while the north of the country has a unimodal rainfall regime. Climate change scenarios show that mean temperatures in the Savannah Zones, predominantly in the north, can be expected to increase by approximately 2°C by 2050.
Rainfall is not anticipated to change much (projected decreases of 0.1-1.5%) but dry season rainfall is expected to increase by 16-20% following a cyclic pattern, with high rainfall periods being followed by droughts more or less each decade. The most prominent climate related hazards affecting the agricultural sector include:
- water stress for crops with increasing dry spells,
- degradation and erosion of arable land (with compound effects across wider landscapes); and
- Intermittent floods and the resulting damage to critical infrastructure.
Syecomp Ghana Ltd,a remote sensing technology company with operational presence in Ghana and Kenya provides innovative remote technology solutions to address these issues. With the provision of on-and off-farm climate-smart solutions leveraging on remotely sensed satellite imagery and climate information technologies, medium to large scale commercial agribusinesses could deploy these services for their farms operations to boost productivity.
Additionally, not excluding notable vulnerable actors such as rural smallholder farmers, they could also benefit through tailored SMS and voice-based localised climate information services to enrich their farming decisions and better on-field agronomic planning. To add to this, periodic farm survey and mapping with industry-standard survey-grade equipment would enhance planning, resource allocation, and data-driven farming.
The Government of Ghana has approved a Climate Change Policy in November 2012, including sector based strategies, which include agriculture and food security as one of the five policy themes and strategic focus areas with particular emphasis on developing climate resilient agriculture and food systems.
Proactive partnerships with private sector actors like Syecomp to address this issue will help in mitigation and adaptation in Ghana’s agricultural value chain.