Climatic Variability and Food Crop Production in the Bawku West District of the Upper East Region of Ghana
The paper presents an assessment of climatic trends and patterns, and impacts on food crop productivity in the Bawku West District. The study adopted both statistical and descriptive approaches to achieve the formulated objectives. Rainfall and temperature data were obtained from the Ghana Meteorological Agency, Navrongo-Ghana, and the World Bank Climate Change Knowledge Portal. The main instruments used to gather information from the respondents were questionnaire, structured interview guide and field observation. Data were analysed using SPSS version 20 and presented in tables and figures. The study revealed that there were yearly irregularities in the amount and intensity of rainfall with increasing number of dry spells, implying the area is currently contending more with climate variability. It also revealed that climate variability has had negative implications on food crop production in the district such as unpredictability of onset of rains, crop failure and low yield. The current coping/adaptive mechanisms employed by farmers to climate variability in the district include irrigation, fertilizer application, growing improved crops, getting jobs outside agriculture, support from government and NGOs, and migration of the youth. It is therefore recommended that stakeholders provide subsidised farm inputs and ensure sound environmental management to cater for the consequences of climate variability on their livelihoods.