Adaptation to Climate Change: Effects of Productivity Improving Strategies on Cocoa Farmers’ Livelihoods in the Central Region, Ghana




The thesis assessed the capacity of cocoa farmers to adapt to climate change and adopt productivity-improving strategies. It also determines the effect of the adoption of productivity-improving strategies on farmer’s livelihoods in the Central Region of Ghana. The key issues addressed in this thesis were: what are the key adaptation strategies; what is the level of farmers’ capacity for adopting productivity-improving strategies (PIS); magnitudes in the factors influencing adoption of productivity-improving strategies and the effects of the adoption of PIS on enhancing their livelihoods. Semi-structured questionnaire was used to collect data from 443 cocoa farmers and 11 local institutions. The adaptation strategies known and employed by cocoa farmers were analyzed using relative frequencies. The level of adaptive capacity of farmers was estimated and the Logit model was used in analyzing the magnitudes in the factors of adopting PIS. Ordinary Least Square was used to analyze the effects of PIS on farmer’s livelihoods. The results from the study showed that on- farm adaptation strategies known and employed by farmers included the use of improved hybrid seed varieties, changing planting dates as well as the application of chemical fertilizer. Although half (50%) of the farmers were categorized as having moderate adaptive capacity, many adopted the productivity-improving strategies (PIS). The most important factors influencing the adoption of PIS were age, gender, total on-farm income, institutional support, and adaptive capacity. Adoption of PIS had a positive effect on their livelihoods (income). The study recommends that local institutions (cocoa LBCs) should be encouraged to provide support in the form of training and education to improve the low capacity for the key crop management practices required to mitigate climate change resources to farmers to enhance their capacity. Institutions and stakeholders should provide support ( credit, training, and technology transfer) to enhance their adaptive capacity (assets) and also to enhance their technology adoption.


1.1 Background of the Study


Climate change threatens the livelihood of millions in developing countries, especially the very poor because it directly affects their livelihood sources (Chambwera & Stage, 2010; Aid, 2014). The livelihoods of agricultural households, particularly in Africa, are increasingly challenged by the effects of the changing climatic conditions in temperature, rainfall, CO2 concentration in the atmosphere, humidity, etc (IPCC, 2007).



Globally rainfall pattern has changed: increased by average 11.43 mm in the 1980s, decreased by 2.54mm in the 1990s, then increased by 22.86mm in the 2000s, and in the 2010s it increased by 53.34 mm (National Academy of Science, 2018; EPA, 2018). Temperature pattern has also changed: increased by average 0.5°C in the 1980s, decreased by

0.2 °C in 1990s, then increased by 0.42 °C in 2000s, 2010s it increased by 0.6°C (National Academy of Science, 2018; EPA, 2018).


There was a further drying of the climate, leading to decreases in annual rainfall by 30% in African (Kotir, 2011; Ruf et al. 2015). Abu (2011), noted that reduction in rainfall amounts and changes at the start of the rainfall season was the climatic effects in the Central Region. Again, declining rainfall amounts and rising average temperatures were also affecting farmers in the Central Region (Owusu-Sekyere et al. 2011). According to the author, these effects lead to low productivity, reduced income, food insecurity, and labour emigration.



Climate changes affect agricultural production and threaten household food security globally (Ogra & Badola, 2015; Sarr et al. 2015). Climate changes affect crop development in diverse ways regionally:

Negatively through pest and disease invasion, poor rainfall, flooding, etc resulting in crop losses, poor outputs which eventually reduce income (Denkyirah et al. 2016).

Positively in enhanced CO2 through increased in photosynthetic rate and also decrease in transpiration rate favouring some crop species; in high temperature, there is an increase in the possibility of completing two or more cropping cycles during the same season (Bosello & Zhang, 2006; Aydinalp & Cresser, 2008)



Akudugu et al. (2012) explained that the declining share of the agricultural sector to Ghana’s GDP may be due to adverse impacts of climate change. The impact of the climate on crop development is through pest and disease invasion, resulting in serious losses, poor outputs which eventually reduce income. As per Anim-Kwapong and Frimpong (2004), climate change alters or modifies the evolution of insects, pests, and diseases of cocoa. Withering occurs in cocoa seedling when is freshly transplanted in an extended period of drought. Again, transplanting cocoa seedlings in high humidity also increases the occurrence of black pod disease. Denkyirah et al. (2016) also affirm that infestation of insects, pests, and diseases results in reduced cocoa yields. Lanaud et al. (2009) and ICO (2015) found that, around the world, insects, pests, and diseases reduce cocoa yield by 30–40%.

Cocoa production is influenced by climate changeability and this crop responds to climate change. Denkyirah et al. (2016) affirmed that environmental change in the form of decreased



rainfall and increased temperatures is foreseen to unfavourably influence cocoa output and decrease the territory for cocoa cultivation in Ghana. Laux et al. (2010) and IPCC (2014), observed that food insecurity and low crop output are a result of the dimensional and transient changeability of rainfall. The adjustment in mean and inconsistency of climate change elements (rainfall, temperature, humidity, drought, and sunshine) over a long period, whether through natural variability or human activity defines climate change (IPCC, 2014) and it has been recognized by scientist globally since the acceptance of United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1992 and 2001 as the main threat to economic development (IPCC, 2001).



Several scientists have contributed to the knowledge and apprehension of climate change (IPCC, 2014) and its impact on economic activities and also identify vulnerable countries or communities (Fankhauser & Tol, 2005; Tol, 2009). African countries are the most affected in terms of the effect of climate change and climate vulnerability due to the over-dependence of their economies on agriculture (Kurukulasuriya & Mendelsohn, 2006; Mendelsohn, 2009). This is so because African countries have limited economic and industrial capacity to deal with climate change vulnerabilities (Kvalvik et al. 2011).



Individuals and societies have adjusted (adapted) to and managed climate change with shifting degrees of accomplishment (IPCC, 2014). Adaptation is the response to changes in temperature, rainfall, humidity, and wind that reduces the dangers of climate change (IPCC, 2014). Among crop farmers, there is the need to adapt to changing farming practices and



technology in crop selection, crop management, and the appropriate farm-level investments in response to changes in temperature, rainfall, humidity, and wind (IPCC, 2014).



Farm technologies (hybrid seeds, fertilizer, insecticides, etc—productivity-improving technologies) exist to reduce the effect of climate change on farming (Di Falco & Veronesi 2013; Adamson et al. 2017). Farmers’ adaptive capacity to climate change is enhanced by the productivity-improving strategies adopted (Egyir et al., 2015). Adaptive capacity is the ability of a farmer to adopt several of these changing farming practices and technology to reduce the adverse effects of climate change on agricultural production (Mabe et al., 2012)



The livelihoods of rural households are through agriculture, rural labour market, and self- employment in the rural non-farm economy and others through migrating to towns, cities, and other countries (Dev, 2011). Agriculture is the major source of livelihood in many African countries. Large numbers of the rural population are dependent on agriculture for their livelihoods. In Sub-Saharan Africa, more than 60% of the economically active population and their dependents rely on agriculture for their livelihoods (Dev, 2011). Farmer livelihoods impacted by climate change include income, wellbeing, food access, food availability, and utilization (Aniah et al. 2016)



Agriculture contributes immensely to the economy of Ghana. However, since 2010, its input to gross domestic product (GDP) has decreased steadily although the agriculture industry remains an essential piece of the financial system, contributing on the average about 21.1 percent (ISSER, 2017; Ghana Statistical Service, 2017). The agriculture industry takes about



56% of the total workforce of the country (MoFA, 2014). Agriculture contributed 19.1 percent to the GDP in 2016, which was the largest foreign trade earner, resulting in forty percent (40%) of Ghana’s overseas income and also the key manufacturer of two-thirds of the household food require (ISSER, 2017).



The agriculture sector is divided into four subsectors, which are crops which includes cocoa (75% of Agricultural GDP), livestock (9% of Agricultural GDP), forestry and logging (10% of Agricultural GDP), and fishing (6% of Agricultural GDP) (Ministry of Economy and Industry, 2018).



Cocoa is one of the foremost contributors to the share of Ghana’s GDP from agriculture. According to GSS (2017), cocoa contributed 13.3% to agribusiness’s share of total national output (Gross Domestic Product) in 2016. It is the vital crop exported and the third export product after gold and timber in Ghana. It is generally the vital basis of revenue for rural farmers and over 80% of all export earnings come from the agriculture sector (Anang, 2011; Adu-Appiah et al. 2013; ISSER, 2017). According to Danso-Abbeam et al. (2012) cocoa dominates exports from agriculture. Ntiamoah and Afrane (2008), indicate that cocoa enhances smallholder farmers’ annual income by 70%–100%. Furthermore, in the late 2000s, almost 350,000 farm owners were identified in Ghana and over 800,000 livelihoods of smallholder families depended on cocoa production (Anim-Kwapong & Frimpong, 2006).



Essegbey and Ofori-Gyamfi (2012), also confirmed that income from many local households comes from cocoa production which is a vital basis of employment. This means that most



agricultural households’ income needs depend largely on the production of cocoa. Stakeholders made up of companies that produce chemicals, suppliers of input, and licensed cocoa buying companies (LBCs) depend basically on the sector for income and employment (Anang et al. 2013). Cocoa production is intense in the forest belts where the weather is favourable, especially the forest belts with high bi-modal nature of rains. These areas include; Ashanti, Brong Ahafo, Central, Eastern, Volta, and Western regions.



In Sub-Saharan African countries, agriculture contributes up to twenty percent (20%) of their Gross Domestic Product and serves as the basis of employment for the majority of the people (Roudier et al. 2011; Waha et al. 2013). Agricultural production is dependent on rain in Sub- Saharan Africa. The climate change effect has added to worldwide agribusiness production declining by 1–5% every decade in the previous 30 years (Watchman et al. 2014).



1.2               Problem Statement


The inbuilt climate and atmospheric-sensitiveness of small-scale agribusiness employment and the persistent poverty that infest it is due to its susceptibility to climate change. The characteristics of climate inconsistency have influenced the production of cocoa over the years. For example, variation in rainfall, temperature, wind, and drought influence the development of cocoa (Ehiakpor et al. 2016).

Cocoa farming is one key livelihood activity in Ghana including the Central Region. However, the Central region is one of the regions in Ghana with a high poverty incidence (GSS, 2015), and whilst cocoa production per household are associated with a lower



incidence of poverty headcount in the cocoa-growing regions, the exception is Central Region (Kolavalli &Vigneri, 2011).

Data from COCOBOD (2019), suggest low production and declining cocoa yields in Central Region ( figure 1 and 2) relative to the other cocoa regions. From fig (1), output generally has increased from the 1980/81 year to the 2018/19 production season for all cocoa- producing regions, Central Region output has been the lowest (Fig 1). Most significantly, decade by decade growth rates in cocoa production in the Central Region suggests a low and declining production increases (Fig 2).


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