By Edmund Smith-Asante, ACCRA
|The Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture in charge of Crops, Dr Alhassan Yakubu Ahmed launching the document|
A five-year Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) Action Plan has been launched by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) to serve as a vehicle for the implementation of the Agriculture and Food Systems Strategies of the National Climate Change Policy (NCCP) from 2016 to 2020.
The government launched the NCCP in July 2014 to serve as a framework to effectively address Climate Change in the country’s development agenda, while the CSA Action Plan was also formulated with the assistance of Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) Africa, through the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT)
At the launch of the 54-page document on Thursday, the Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture in charge of Crops, Dr Alhassan Yakubu Ahmed, said: “Climate change has moved from just a scientific subject to become an increasingly important development issue that requires the attention of all, especially those of us in sub-Saharan Africa.”
He stated that the main indicators of climate change that were of much concern in Ghana were increasing temperatures, rainfall variability and longer dry seasons.
According to Dr Ahmed, a report from the Monitoring Environment and Security for Africa, a partnership between the African Union and the European Union to monitor Climate Change Issues, had forecasted that in the first quarter of 2016, “most places will experience much lower rainfall than previously.”
He, therefore, asked policy implementers to ‘put their eye on the ball’ as such conditions affected food security.
Dr Ahmed explained that what accounted for the 0.04 per cent growth in the agriculture sector last year was the warm weather in the country, adding that Ghana’s average rainfall in the last 10 years was about 15 per cent lower than the average rainfall in the past.
He, therefore, said the CSA Action Plan sought to achieve coherence and effectiveness in the promotion and adaptation of Climate Smart agriculture supporting technologies.
In an interview with the Daily Graphic, a Director of Agriculture at MoFA, Delali Nutsukpo, said an action plan had been developed for the agriculture sector to facilitate the implementation of the strategies outlined in the NCCP.
“The major difference between this document and the strategies in the policy is that we have outlined activities based on the priorities of each of the agro ecological zones, because Climate Change is not an issue that is one size fits all because the impacts are different for different ecological zones,” he said.
He stated that the name Climate-Smart Agriculture had been given because activities in the plan were aimed at building resilience, adaptation to nature, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and support of productivity increases to promote poverty reduction and development.
This story was first published by the Daily Graphic on January 9, 2016