Dry weather puts maize farms at risk

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Climate change-induced dry spells have again come to haunt farmers. In the Ashanti Region, some farmers in Ejura are witnessing a repeat of dry weather conditions that hit some parts of the country last year.

These signals threaten the food security of a country like Ghana whose economy depends mainly on rain-fed agriculture.

Fuseini Issah is a basic school teacher but his love for farming is beyond dispute. But recent dry weather conditions are changing his general perception of agriculture.

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Farmers are facing harvest losses as a result of unpredictable changing weather patterns. And Fuseini is staring at a huge loss.

“We were expecting our maize to be at the final stage now,” he said.

Switching from rain-fed agriculture to irrigation remains a challenge to many farmers. And depending on the weather forecast has proven difficult. Anas Shuaib’s maize farm is three months old.

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“I have planted three acres and I was expected to harvest 30 bags but there is nothing to show,” he says.

Some of the plants are stunted while others are now tasselling. But the tassels of the maize cob are not the usual.

Unpredicted weather patterns worldwide have become issues of concern.

And in Africa, where subsistence agriculture is prevalent, the situation becomes more difficult.

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Assistant Director of Climate Services at the Kenyan Meteorological department recommends effective mitigation and adaptation measures.

Dr Richard Muita wants governments and stakeholders to consider water harvesting systems among others.

Unpredicted weather conditions are likely to affect Africa than other continents. However, a properly planned mitigation and adaptation process can change the story.



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