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REPORT: Assessing the adaptation mechanisms of smallholder farmers to climate change and agro biodiversity losses in northern Ghana

Northern Ghana has good potential for agricultural growth, particularly in the fertile lowland and inland valleys, which are currently under-exploited for agriculture. However, this region is highly exposed to extreme events, has limited opportunities for off-farm and nonfarm employment, and has experienced a weakening of traditional social safety nets, which in turn has amplified risks from climate variability and change. Moreover, the limited investment in the construction of dams, dugouts and the judicious management of watersheds is negatively impacting the ability of the north to produce food and has increased vulnerabilities spawned by droughts and floods, which are expected to increase with climate change.

This research, Assessing the adaptation mechanisms of smallholder farmers to climate change and agro biodiversity losses in northern Ghana, examines adaptation strategies for smallholder farmers in northern Ghana, discussing issues of production, water management and the policy environment. This research is in two components; climate change and agrobiodiversity loss. The livelihood vulnerability index and multinomial logit regression were used to measure the level of vulnerability and determine the factors that influence farmers’ choice of adaptation strategies.

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This project and publication has been produced as part of the START call for research on the theme of ‘Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security’ in Africa, with an emphasis on the sustainability of ecosystem services in Africa. Objectives of this call are to commission high quality, independent, policy-relevant and credible research to support policy making for sustainable development in the region, to build the capacities of regional research partners to conduct high level research and to create a platform for knowledge sharing at the regional level. The funding has been provided by US National Science Foundation, Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) and CDKN.

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Research call information: Regional Research Call – Africa

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