AICCRA works to scale climate-smart agriculture and climate information services that reach millions of smallholder farmers in Africa. Ahead of COP27, AICCRA teams sat down with some farmers in our focus countries to learn more about them, the challenges and opportunities they are facing, and how climate-smart technologies and information services can help.
We also asked the farmers if they had a message for world leaders at ‘Africa’s COP’ – COP27.
Meet Elizabeth Akaba, a produce farmer and Chairperson of the Tuba Women Farmers Association in Greater Accra, Ghana.
45-year-old Elizabeth Akaba lives in Sowutuom, a suburban town in the Greater Accra Region of Ghana. Like most communities near the country’s capital, Accra, urbanization has negatively impacted farming. Lands that used to be farmlands are now the sites of residential homes.
The child of proud farmers, Elizabeth studied agriculture at Kwadaso Agriculture College in Kumasi where her knowledge of crop production improved greatly. She owns 3 acres of farmland in Tuba, near Sowutuom - where she grows tomatoes, okra, pepper, lettuce, garden eggs, cucumber, and sweet pepper.
She is the Chairperson of the Tuba Women Farmers Association, where she organizes monthly meetings for women farmers. At these meetings, the women exchange knowledge and ideas on how to improve their yields and get buyers for their produce.
“We are also introducing the women to alternative source of incomes like soap making, so they can earn additional income to support their families,” Elizabeth explains.
We asked: Have you seen the climate change in your lifetime? Is the weather different? Have seasons changed?
“Climate change has made rainfall patterns in Ghana erratic. Long droughts diminish crop yields and reduce farmers income. Building the capacity of farmers to make extra income is very important," Elizabeth stated.
As a women leader, Elizabeth says farming is becoming harder for women. Women farmers lack access to finance, inputs, and new farming technologies.
How has AICCRA helped you?
“AICCRA has improved my knowledge of Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) innovations. As a lead farmer, I am always encouraging farmers to adopt CSA and One Health innovations because they improve crop production and sustain the environment."
Elizabeth hopes for a future where farmers will be able to produce enough food to feed Ghana and the rest of the world. For that to happen, global and regional platforms for agriculture must amplify farmers’ voices. Stakeholders must heed farmers’ calls for improved access to inputs and food processing facilities.
As global leaders prepare to meet in Egypt for COP 27, Elizabeth’s message to world leaders is simple: “They should consider the needs and challenges of women farmers in their polices. Farmers should be given opportunities for their voices to be heard in Africa and across the world. Ghanaian farmers must be supported to increase their production.”
Read other farmer profiles and updates from AICCRA’s work in its six focus countries at our COP27 hub.