Ghana Journal of Geography

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Climate variability and sustainable food production: Insights from north-eastern Ghana

Issahaku Abdul-Rahaman, Ebenezer Owusu-Sekyere


The past two decades have seen invigorated debates on the causal link between climate variability and food crop production. This study[1] extends the debate further by investigating how climate variability has affected the production of four specific food crops: maize, millet, rice, and groundnuts in north-eastern Ghana. The results are based on temperature and rainfall data obtained from the Ghana Meteorological Agency and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and are supported with in-depth interviews with selected staff from other allied institutions. While an inverse relationship between climate variability and food crop production was established, the effects were not homogenous, as climate variables (rainfall and temperature) did not all exert the same effect across all crops. This suggests that the generalized interpretation of the relationship between climate variability and food crop production should be undertaken with caution and that each variable must be examined on its own merit. We argue that the negative relationship between climate variability and food crop production has the potential to erode the gains made by the state-sponsored development authority SADA in their poverty reduction drive in north-eastern Ghana.

[1] *This article was curled from a PhD thesis of the corresponding author which is entitled “Climate variability: Implications for Water Resource and Food Security in the Upper East Region of Ghana. The thesis was successfully submitted at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana in 2017.


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