AICCRA Ghana's partners pose for a photograph
Photo: Aiccra Ghana

Public-private partnerships for climate-resilient infrastructure in Ghana

A capacity building workshop in Ghana shows how broad partnerships help scale climate-smart agriculture and climate information services in ways that can reach 250,000 farmers. 

AICCRA Ghana hosted a two-week capacity strengthening workshop in Accra to disseminate climate information services and climate-smart agriculture on a large scale to improve crop production.

Participants included scientists, journalists and representatives of public and private sector organisations, non-governmental organisations, and universities from Ghana, Nigeria, Benin, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Mali, Burkina Faso and Rwanda. 

The workshop provided an opportunity for AICCRA Ghana and its partners to solicit views on the operationalization of Ghana's National Framework for Climate Services (NFCS). 

It also provided a chance to explore strategies that inform the development of Early Warning and Rapid Response (EWRR) systems for the agriculture sector in Ghana, both nationally and locally. 

Participants discussed mechanisms for the development of innovative partnership which accelerate the scaling of climate-smart agriculture and climate information services that adopt principles of a one-health approach

They also assess how technologies, innovations and practices of climate-smart agriculture and climate information services can make relevant contributions to the implementation of Ghana's Agricultural Data Hub. 

Finally, experts also explored the most effective ways of optimizing such technologies, innovations and practices to address the needs of vulnerable women and young people. 

Participants discuss Ghana's OneHealth needs during a breakout session

Why are partnerships critical to the success of AICCRA?

Helping African farmers become more resilient to climate change demands a concerted effort by all relevant partners and stakeholders to merge expertise and resources and disseminate climate-smart solutions to farmers and other beneficiaries. 

The AICCRA Ghana team are hosted by International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), a OneCGIAR research center.

IITA and the AICCRA Ghana team facilitated the launch of a multi-layered and multi-stakeholder partnerships integral to development and scaling of climate-smart agriculture, climate information services that support OneHealth and gender-sensitive outcomes.

These partnerships bring together a diversity of scientific knowledge, institutional expertise and resources needed to improve crop production and farmers' livelihood. They often leverage existing networks of partner organisation dedicated to accelerating climate-smart solutions for Ghanaian agriculture. 

The AICCRA Ghana team leverage expertise and networks of public sector partners such as: 

  • The Crop Research Institute of Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR-CRI)
  • Ghana Meteorological Agency (GMet)
  • Ghana Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA),
  • University of Development Studies (UDS)
  • National Agricultural Research System

CSIR-CRI is the lead research organization responsible for the technical aspects of promoting and scaling gender-sensitive innovations, and practices for climate-smart agriculture and Climate Information Services. They also lead on the work in building the capacity of partners to implement OneHealth interventions. 

Meanwhile, GMeT is responsible for providing weather forecasts, climate services, weather warnings and advisory information that is then disseminated to farmers.

Private sector partners like Esoko uses its community management platform to disseminate climate information services and strategies for climate-smart agriculture directly to farmers. 

The Centre for Agriculture Biosciences International (CABI) is working with IITA to mainstream OneHealth into existing national science-policy platforms for climate change, agriculture, and food security. 

Community radio stations work with GMet to disseminate  weather  advisory information  for climate-smart agriculture to communities across Ghana. 

AICCRA Ghana also benefits from the expertise and collaboration of several regional and international stakeholders, including the West African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF) and the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI), based at Columbia University. 

Ghislain Tepa-Yotto, AICCRA Ghana Cluster Leader, argues that the disturbing impact of climate change in several areas in Ghana—particularly in the Upper East and Upper West regions—demands multi-partner collaborations.

"There is an urgent need for partners and stakeholders to come together to put in place mechanisms to raise awareness around scaling bundles of climate-smart agriculture and climate information services bundles that have impact." he said. 

"Partnerships are critical to the effective implementation of climate change interventions," says Dr. Osman Damba, senior lecturer at the University of Development Studies, who also serves as the technical lead for identifying technologies and the opportunities to scale them for AICCRA Ghana. 

Dr. Damba believes partnerships enable various stakeholders to identify innovation platforms for scaling technologies that support farmers and provide opportunities for beneficiaries to have a say in developing and scaling these technologies.

Mathieu Ouedraogo, a senior climate action scientist at the Alliance Bioversity-CIAT who works on climate information services for AICCRA Ghana, explained that the project relies on digital solutions and business models designed by private sector partners to reach farmers with solutions informed by research. 

According to Faustina Obeng Adoma (Gender and Social Inclusion expert for AICCRA Ghana) partnerships amplify dialogues around gender in communities. 

"Partnering with community radio stations gives voice to women farmers who are usually not heard in their communities or farmers' groups", she said. 

Reginald Kyere is Communications Specialist for AICCRA Ghana