AICCRA Ghana to unlock climate-smart innovations to farmers

AICCRA Ghana recently hosted a workshop to unlock the potential for inclusive, climate-smart innovations and finance for healthier crops, environment and humans. 

Discussions highlighted the challenges Ghanaian farmers face in agriculture concerning the climate and proposed climate-smart solutions to improve farmers’ livelihoods in Ghana and other African countries.

The AICCRA project works with the Food System Resilience Program, the Bio-risks Management Facility, the West and Central Africa Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF/WECARD), and many strategic stakeholders.

They acknowledge that climate and agricultural solutions must be sought collectively as the world grapples with the COVID-19, the Ukrainian crisis, and other adversities.

The World Bank funds the AICCRA project recognizing the importance of innovation, partnerships, co-generation of knowledge, and scaling of the generated technologies for cross-country adoption.

World Bank Lead Agriculture Economist Michael Morris stressed that for “Africa’s food systems, climate change is the single greatest threat. Hence, the World Bank is devoting about 35% of its funds to climate-resilient actions.”

Pierre Laporte, Director of World Bank for Ghana, lauded AICCRA’s capacity to deliver climate-smart innovations and technologies to boost farmers’ productivity in the face of global challenges.

He said, “The AICCRA project is ideally placed to fill the missing middle between upstream research partners and downstream development and delivery partners to strengthen the resilience of the agricultural sector to the threat posed by climate change and public food system shocks.”

Speaking at the event, Ghana’s Minister for Food and Agriculture, Owusu Akoto, said Ghana’s agri-food system is increasingly susceptible to multiple shocks: droughts, increasing temperature, decreasing rainfall, pests, and diseases, which cause enormous loss of food.

He called on international donors and low and middle-income countries to increase spending over the next ten years on resilient agri-food systems to achieve zero-hunger and other Sustainable Development Goals.

AICCRA Ghana promotes agricultural technologies that are climate-smart and gender-smart. Marie Derenoncourt, CGIAR Gender-Smart Investment Specialist, spoke about gender-smart investing to scale climate-smart agriculture.

She said, “If measures are taken to reduce constraints women farmers in Ghana experience compared to their men counterparts, there will be a 4% increase in agricultural output and a reduction of hunger by more than 17%.”

She added that women’s engagement in climate-smart agriculture would ensure adoption and long-term sustainability.

Another critical angle of the AICCRA intervention is the One Health Approach, where interventions are designed to cover the interconnected areas of soil, water, plant, animal, and human health.

During a panel discussion, Osman Damba, a lecturer at the University of Development Studies in Tamale, Ghana, identified seed, the organic amendment to soil, bio-pesticides, and seasonal weather climate concerns, as the cross-cutting issues affecting Ghana’s agricultural value chain products—maize, cowpea, potato, tomato, and pepper.

Other panelists identified capacity and infrastructure development, integrated pest management, scaling, and gender and climate financing as useful intervention components for increasing the productivity and output of Ghanaian farmers.

Originally published by Folake Oduntan at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA). 

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