Climate change and shift in cropping systems: from cocoa to maize cropping system in Wenchi, Ghana

Submitted by charlotte.schilt on Mon, 09/24/2018 - 13:47

This study was conducted to analyse the perceived changes in climate and the effects on changes in cropping systems in Wenchi. The objectives of the study were to provide a historical analysis of the current and past cropping systems, identify the key drivers responsible for the shift in the cropping systems and the adaptation strategies of the farmers and other relevant stakeholders. Semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions with were held with farmers. Stratified sampling was used for selecting respondents for the interviews and the focus group discussion. Interviews were also held with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture in Wenchi and the Forestry Services Division. The results show that indeed, there has been a shift from cocoa to maize based cropping systems with maize replacing cocoa as the main cash crop. It was also found that the shift was prompted by the decline in the yields of cocoa over the years which are likely due to the changes in rainfall even though other factors including vegetation, land tenure system and soil fertility might also play a role. It was also concluded that the subsequent difficulty in re-establishing cocoa after the 1983 bushfires may be due to the combined effect of changes in rainfall and the annual bushfires during the dry season. In terms of adaptation, it was found that all the stakeholders; farmers, MoFA and FSD are unable to do much about the observed changes in climate and the cropping systems.

Michael Kermah


Cropping systems, climate change, rainfall, cocoa, maize, farmers, Wenchi
Mark van Wijk, Samuel Adjei-Nsiah