Building Climate-Smart Value Chain in Cocoa Sector
Climate change is a serious threat to agricultural production which has a strong connotation to achieving food security in Ghana.
The weather patterns has drastically changed in Ghana over the years. This has made farmers unable to even predict the weather to aid in planting of crops. As a result, many farmers record low crop production, impacting negatively on livelihood as well as export for the country.
The cocoa sector is not spared from the onset of climate change. Farmers who plant seedlings find it extremely difficult to nurture the growth of the seedlings. This is because Ghana’s agricultural sector and for that matter the cocoa sector is heavily rain fed. The application of irrigation facilities is so expensive to smallholder farmers and the government cannot simply provide that means to every smallholder farmer due to budget constraint. The cocoa sector remains a strong backbone to Ghana’s economy and growth as a middle income country. Already, projected production for the cocoa season is not expected to be met due various factors, of which climate change is involved.
Climate change and climate variability are expected to have a significant impact on smallholder farming in the Ghanaian cocoa belt. As a response new measures that can address those impacts are being defined under ‘Climate Smart Agriculture’. This new buzz term already includes many of the tried and true measures that form the backbone of sustainable agriculture – building soil fertility, protecting watersheds, increasing access to knowledge, inputs and markets for more profitable and food secure farming livelihoods.