Analysing the Adaptation Strategies to Climate Extremes among Smallholder Farmers: A Case of Cropping Practices in the Volta Region of Ghana

Climate extremes endanger the livelihoods of smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa, necessitating adaptation strategies. The study’s goal was to examine smallholder farmers’ knowledge of climate extremes as well as their perceptions of the effects of climate extremes on agriculture activities. The survey data was collected from 70 randomly selected households in the Hohoe district of Ghana’s Volta Region. Household socioeconomic characteristics, cropping systems, experience with climate variability, and adaptation strategies to weather extremes and climate risk were all sought. Farmers experienced drought or flooding once every two seasons over the last three years, according to the findings. Early planting, the use of improved seed, and soil moisture conservation techniques such as within-field ridge construction are among the adaptation strategies currently being used to reduce the impact of climate extremes. Farmers were well aware of the phenomenon of climate change (94 percent), and the primary sources of climate change-related information were radio, television, agricultural extension agents, and local experts. Farmers saw widespread deforestation and forest fires as major contributors. making a contribution to climate extremes The benefits of the mixed cropping system were reduced by the limited use of fertilizer, hybrid seed, and the lack of planned crop sequences. The ineffective use of improved and modern crop production technologies was hampered by a lack of resources. Current climate adaptation strategies, particularly drought adaptation, were insufficient to reduce risk and loss in agricultural production. Improved drainage infrastructure and mulching, on the other hand, have been reported to increase crop production; important innovations against droughts and floods. The use of modern agricultural technologies and inputs was limited, reducing the resilience of current adaptation strategies. Farmers preferred low-cost crop management techniques to combat extreme climate extremes, particularly droughts caused by erratic rainfall patterns. We conclude that crop inputs and modern crop management techniques are critical to reducing the effects of climate extremes on crops. High-quality weather forecasting information could help farmers better prepare and plan their seasonal calendars. The study discovered strong links between adaptation capacity, resource endowment, and rural infrastructure development. The findings are significant in terms of planning interventions for climate extremes and rural agricultural development.

Author (S) Details

Nhamo Nhamo
Department of Crop Science, University of Ghana, P.O.Box 68, Legon, Accra, Ghana and International Center for Biosaline Agriculture, P.O.Box 14660, Dudai, UAE.

Makoka Donald
Bunda College of Agriculture, P.O.Box 219, Lilongwe, Malawi.

O. Tabi Fritz
Department of Crop Science, University of Ghana, P.O.Box 68, Legon, Accra, Ghana.

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