Experts are calling for the harmonisation, mainstreaming and upscaling of climate friendly agriculture innovations to increase food production amid erratic rains, flooding and drought caused by climate crises.
Climate friendly agriculture innovations include the use of organic fertilizers, proper soil management practices such as mulching, the use of drought-tolerant and early maturing varieties of crops.
They said applying climate-smart agricultural practices was the surest way to improve soil fertility and double crop yields, while reducing unwanted greenhouse gasses.
The move together with proper post-harvest management practices including safe transportation of food crops from farm gates to producers, the market, and consumers, would ensure food availability, supply and stability of prices.
Dr Isaac Kankam-Boadu, Lecturer at the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and Dr Stephen Yeboah, an Agronomist, told the Ghana News Agency on the sidelines of a climate change media training in Accra.
Dr Kankam-Boadu, who is also an Agronomist, said that climate-smart agriculture would help with some mitigation and adaptation measures against the harsh effects of climate change, which affected food production.
He said that planting of early maturing varieties and drought-tolerant food crops, and conserving the soil moisture through the use of organic matter and mulching has become critical in ensuring food security and environmental sustainability.
He also said that it was important to adopt new ways of addressing pest and diseases brought about by climate change, particularly by planting researched disease and pest tolerant crops, and applying neem extracts instead of chemicals.
Dr Kankam-Boadu added that: “We have to improve on our transportation system so that food from the farm gate can go to the market centres in the right form and time. We must also look at post-harvest handling and utilisation to achieve food security.”
“So, our interventions must be holistic; increasing the production and also looking at how to preserve what we’ve produced and make sure that they get to consumers in the right state at the right time,” the Agronomist emphasised.
Dr Yeboah, Research Scientist with the Crops Research Institute, CSIR, said that there was the need to embark on consistent drive to disseminate climate-smart agriculture technologies to farmers.
He said that: “Aggressive dissemination is needed to develop CSA technologies to increase productivity, adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change and ensure national food security.”
He noted that climate change impact was increasingly becoming severe, with long-term projections indicating that crop yields could fall by up to 50 percent by 2050, while net revenues from crops could drop by as much as 90 percent by 2100.
As such, a national strategic direction and coordination of policies and programmes was required to mitigate the impact of climate change on Ghana’s food systems.
By Albert Oppong-Ansah, GNA