Farmer’s observation on climate change impacts on maize (Zea mays) production in a selected agro-ecological zone in Ghana
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Although maize farmers may not have a clear understanding of climate change, they live close to natural resources and are among the first in perceiving and reacting to environmental changes. They have observed and felt the effects of decreasing rainfall, emphasizing changes in the regularity, length, intensity and timing of rainfall; increasing air temperature, increasing sunshine intensity and seasonal changes in rainfall pattern which is affecting their farming practices. Moreover, farmers are also aware of the interacting effect between bad management practices and changes in climate. For instance, deforestation and clearing of riparian vegetation is considered a major factor increasing soil erosion; the use of agricultural chemicals close to the rivers and streams create hazards for the environment. The study indicates that changes in the onset and cessation of rain have negative impact on maize production and this pose a serious threat to household food security since maize is the staple food of most Ghanaians. Consequently, effective and efficient adaptation and mitigation measures should be promoted to prepare stakeholders in maize production systems to enhance their resilience and flexibility.
This article is from Research Journal of Agriculture and Environmental Management 2 (2013): 394–402. Posted with permission.