Climate change: ‘Let’s leverage digital technology to build resilient food systems’

Stakeholders at the 39th Farmers’ Day celebration in Bolgatanga, the Upper East Regional capital, have called for leveraging digital technologies to offset climate change impacts and sustain agriculture production.

Apart from the global hikes in prices of inputs such as fertilizer, leading to high cost of production, climate change is hitting hard in many parts of northern Ghana, particularly the Upper East Region, threatening food production and security.

Therefore, it was urgent to build resilient food systems through digital technologies to empower farmers with accurate and timely information on changing weather patterns and smart agriculture measures to enable them to adapt to the changing climate impacts, they noted.

Alhaji Zakaria Fuseini, the Upper East Regional Director, Department of Agriculture, said many youths were yearning to venture into agriculture, however, the unaddressed challenges could make the sector unattractive to them.

‘Appreciable increase in agricultural technology adoption rate
by farmers from eight per cent to 15 per cent culminated in the increase of crops and livestock productivity in the region for the 2023 cropping season,’ he said.

‘It is, therefore, prudent to innovate, collaborate and develop more resilient food systems that can resist the shocks while concurrently feeding our people.’

Mr Stephen Yakubu, the Upper East Regional Minister, said digital technology providing real time data on weather patterns was not only helping to bridge information gaps in agriculture but provided transformative solutions to climate change impacts on food insecurity.

‘It is in view of this that the Ghana Agricultural Sector Investment Programme (GASIP) collaborated with the Ghana Meteorological Agency to provide weather information to farmers during the farming season,’ he said.

The Regional Minister mentioned land and chieftaincy disputes as major challenges adversely affecting agriculture production and threatening food security in the region.

‘Our efforts as a region to sustain our en
viable position as one of the food baskets of the country would come to naught if we continue to engage ourselves in battle fronts on accounts of land and chieftaincy conflicts,’ he said.

‘Several lives have been lost, most of whom were farmers.’

‘Similarly, farming activities come to a halt under war situations, which impacts on our ability to produce. It is therefore my utmost desire and hope that we would all be guided against these menaces.’

Mr Daniel Kwame Gariba, Dean of the Municipal and District Chief Executives, urged the farmers to take advantage of the Planting for Food and Jobs Phase Two to increase productivity for increased income levels and poverty reduction.

A 38-year mixed farmer, Isaac Amondem, from Wiaga in the Builsa North Municipality, emerged the Upper East Regional Best Farmer for 2023.

He received a tricycle, mist blower, two matchets, two pairs of wellington boots, knapsack sprayer and a certificate.

Naab Akajiaya Akanfeila, 58, and Madam Charity Zangina Liniyuligba, 43, were ad
judged Best Regional Livestock and Female Farmer, respectively.

Each of them was given a tricycle, blower, two matchets, two pairs of wellington boots, knapsack sprayer and a certificate.

In all, 220 farmers, comprising 205 females and 15 males, from the 15 municipalities and districts across the region, received awards ranging from certificates, tricycles, motorbikes to fridges and television sets among other prizes.

It was held on the theme: ‘Delivering Smart solutions for Sustainable food security and Resilience’.

Source: Ghana News Agency