Climate Change and Food Crop Security in Ghana: A Case of Bibiani – Ahwiaso – Bekwai District

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Climate Change (CC) poses threat to food crop production especially in a developing country like Ghana. As a result, this study examined the impact of CC on output of maize, cassava and plantain in the Bibiani-Ahwiaso-Bekwai (BAB) district and farmers adaptation strategies. Questionnaires, focus group discussions, interview guide and direct observation were the main instruments used for gathering primary data from 231 households, selected randomly and purposively from six communities. Again, 31 years’ time series data points from secondary sources were used to perform multiple regression analysis. Analysis was done using the Eviews software for Ordinary Least Squares (OLS), MAKESENS Excel template for Trend analysis, IBM SPSS version 20 for Cross tabulation, Microsoft Excel, 2013 for frequency charts and thematic analysis for all qualitative data analysis. The results of the study revealed that, changes (increase) in temperature has a significant negative impact (decrease) on output of maize. From farmers’ perspective, negative impacts of CC on crops are greatly felt during fruits development and maturation stages in the production process. Again, some farming practices (like deforestation and slash and burn) apart from contributing to anthropogenic induced CC, also exacerbate the effects of CC on crops. Also, the quantity of output of crops is positively related to land area with high significance level. Finally, mixed cropping and mulching were mostly used by farmers to adapt to CC which were basically determined by farmers’ years of farming experience and the fact that they were relatively cost effective. Unfortunately, institutional mitigation strategies were not functioning (were very weak) in the district. The study thus recommended that mitigation should be made ‘crop and stage specific’ in the production process and experienced farmers should be involved in public education on best adaptation options. Communication and education about CC should also be intensified and made more meaningful to farmers if institutional mitigation strategies would be effective.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Geography and Rural Development in partial fulfilment for the award of Master of Philosophy (MPhil) degree in Geography and Rural Development,