Dr Alhassan Lansah Abdulai, Agro-Meteorologist at the Savannah Agricultural Research Institute of Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR-SARI), has said the Institute is promoting climate change adaptation strategies to increase resilience and improve agriculture.
“In trying to deal with climate change we also have technologies and strategies that we have developed over the years and then we try to disseminate it to farmers so that they could use,” he said.
“If they accept it then it will help reduce the impact of climate change on our production system and in the long run the livelihood systems that the people use”.
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Wa, Dr Abdulai, who is also a Climate Change Adaptation Specialist at the Wa station of CSIR-SARI, said agriculture is the major occupation of people in the northern Ghana but climate change has affected the sector badly.
“We know there are changes in the growing seasons and we need to come out with varieties that can fix into the new duration,” he said: “SARI developed a number of varieties that can feed into this new growing season and climate incidents like diseases and severe climate condition”.
Bad agricultural practices by farmers, he said, was also contributing to climate variability, and in this regard, the Institute was coming out with technologies that could reduce the amount of greenhouse gases that agriculture emit into the environment.
“We have what is called Systems of Rice Intensification, which reduces the amount of nitro-oxide that is emitted from the production of rice,” he said.
He called for appropriate policy frameworks to regulate activities of farmers that led to climate change.
Touching on agricultural sustainability, Dr Abdulai said farmers’ access to quality seed was vital adding that SARI has the mandate of producing improved seed for farmers to improve their activities.
“If you look at Upper East Region, 10 years ago maize was not grown there, they only knew their sorghum and millet because they are drought tolerant but because of this programme, with the stress tolerant maize programme in Africa, now we have developed maize varieties and release them that farmers can now grow in the Upper East and still have good yield”, he said.
He said SARI has also trained people at the local level through the community seed module to grow certified seeds for farmers.
r Abdulai called for a policy to regulate felling of trees with special permission required to cut trees with a compelling demand to replace those trees cut.
He urged farmers to create a green belt on the field to reduce the impact of climate change.