Climate Change

More than 60% of Africa’s population are living in rural areas with agriculture as their main livelihood. This makes the sector the largest contributor to the continent’s gross domestic product. However, increasing effects of climate change are expected to impact the agricultural sector in general with smallholder farmers the most vulnerable groups.

According to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, “Tackling climate change and fostering sustainable development are two equally reinforcing sides of the same coin”. In this regard, ComCashew’s policy advice and support to its project partners is focusing on the need to integrate climate smart strategies into individual national strategies. All six project countries are combining efforts to reach explicit national adaptation and mitigation strategies for climate change or at least develop plans that take climate change mitigation into consideration.

In Ghana, an action plan for national climate-smart agriculture was set up with the aim of placing agriculture, which is the country’s major economic activity into the scope of climate change from 2016 to 2020.

For example, government has introduced two major initiatives, i.e. "One Village - One Dam" and "Planting for Food and Jobs" for which the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) is responsible. The European Union’s Ghana National Indicative Program 2014-2020 fully supports and contributes to these initiatives in the North-West Savannah zone through its European Union Ghana Agriculture Programme (EUGAP), comprised of three interlinked components: namely Infrastructure,Market-Oriented Agriculture Programme (MOAP)and Resilience Against Climate Change (REACH)

The Overall Objective of the Programme is to increase agricultural incomes and promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth in rural communities within the Joint Programme Area (JPA) by 2024. (The JPA includes all 11 districts in the Upper West Region, Mamprugu Moagduri in the North East Region, and Sawla-Tuna-Kalba and North Gonja in the Savannah Region).  The three projects are working together to identify and intensify joint implementation of activities of mutual interest in the focal districts. In this regard, the Projects will share implementation concepts, so that common areas of interest can be identified and integrated in their respective work plans for joint coordination. The projects are collaborating with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD), Agence Française de Développement (AFD), World Bank (WB) and the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) to ensure effective and efficient coordination of interventions.

The Competitive Cashew Initiative (ComCashew) is implementing the Resilience Against Climate Change (REACH) Component of EUGAP. The REACH Project on adaptation and mitigation to climate change for the local population in North West Ghana has been developed to contribute to the development of rural communities and stable land management in the face of climate change, by promoting climate resilient practices.

The Project is focusing on three core components, that is.

  • Assisting district planning teams to develop climate-smart development plans.
  • Improving community and individual knowledge and practices in Conservation Agriculture (CA) through extension services, trial plots, mobile information units, land-use mapping, and the development of Community Action Plans (CAPs). It will standardise extension training through work with the Damango Agricultural college, produce CA extension material, support technical training sites, and provide matching grants for the realisation of Community activities identified in the CAPS.
  • The third component is conducting research into the impacts of climate change on social transformation to inform future planning decisions; it is managed by the International Water Management Institute (IWMI).

The Specific Objective of REACH is to enable a sustainable and inclusive improvement in the rural economy through enhanced implementation of gender-sensitive climate change adaptation and mitigation practices in at least 50 Communities in the Joint Programme Area of the EU Agriculture Development Programme by 2024.

The Project is relevant for the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development. It contributes primarily to the progressive achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 13: "Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts," but also promotes progress towards Goals 2. “End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture, 10. Reduce inequality within and among countries and 15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.

The three linked components of REACH, each is expected to achieve results (Expected Results, ER) that complement each other and are necessary for the achievement of the overall goal:

  • ER for Component 1: District and Community capacity in climate smart planning and natural resources management is developed and standardised in the 14 Districts of the Joint Programme Area (JPA), by building a geo-referenced District Database Infrastructure (DDI) filled with accurate planning data, supplying IT equipment and training where necessary, as well as establishing a digital library on agricultural projects and programs for all interested parties to utilize.
  • ER for Component 2: Climate smart livelihood and sustainable land management practices are implemented through assessed activity proposals, under a funding contribution mechanism in a minimum of 50 communities within the JPA.
  • ER for Component 3 (ER3): Local, Regional and National Decision makers better understand the social transformation conditions that will ensure a sustainable and inclusive rural economy; promoting enhanced implementation of climate change adaptation and mitigation practices in their plans and strategies.

The other two components of the EUGAP;Infrastructurewill supply at least 200 Communities with either dams, water pumping stations or boreholes under the management of Agence Française de Développement (AFD), which will also manage a Matching Grant component; solar energy production to improve local processing managed by a separate agency yet to be determined; and, feeder roads and storage facilities managed by the World Bank under Sustainable Land and Water Management Programme (SLWMP) and the Market-Oriented Agriculture Programme (MOAP) is boosting the economic development of seven agriculture commodities (i.e. rice, mangoes, cashew, vegetables, soybeans, sorghum and groundnuts) prioritised by MoFA and relevant stakeholders, managed by GIZ with various components contracted to Agriculture and Finance Consultants(AFC).