AGRA calls for action to stem impact of climate change

The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) is calling for urgent action to help stem the impact of climate change on the African continent.

Anthony Ngosi who is Acting West Africa Regional Head of AGRA told Joy News’ Emefa Apawu on The Pulse that “climate change is affecting African countries negatively and significantly.” “We have been experiencing more extreme weather patterns recently,” he said.

World leaders are gathering in Glasgow – UK for the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), where they are expected to make commitments to help stem the phenomenon.

Mr. Ngosi warns higher temperatures are expected to cause more destruction to crop yields as well as increased pest and disease damage.

“Here in Ghana, last month, we saw in Northern region, Northeast and Upper West Regions, there were severe floods that damaged bridges, roads and left the districts difficult to access. And NADOMO reported 7,000 farms were damaged. And so, we are really seeing climate change damaging African lives,’ he observed.

Mr. Ngosi says projections indicate climate change can make more that 100 million people poor by 2029.

“Smallholder farmers are very reliant on steady rainfall patterns and good rains. With higher temperatures, we can expect more disease outbreaks on farms. And there will be a drop in productivity on farms. An expected drop in crop yield of 3% in West Africa will affect the ability of farmers to feed themselves and their animals,” he added.

He disclosed that AGRA is working with government to promote pest and disease resistant varieties that can help farmers fight climate change and called for more efforts in that regard.

“There are varieties that are drought resistant and disease tolerant we are promoting. We have been promoting insurance to help farmers cope in times of need. We have also been working with government to build farmers’ capacity in monitoring food availability around the country in Ghana,” he said.

“Two years ago, we partnered with Forestry (Commission) to plant 160,000 trees in Ghana and those are some of the things we can do,” he added.

There are concerns if no action is taken, climate impacts will lead to overall yield reductions of up to 30% by 2050 in Africa, while extreme weather events will result in higher post-harvest quality and quantity losses.

Climate change could wipe out 15% of Africa’s GDP by 2030. This could pull an additional 100 million people into extreme poverty by the end of the decade.

Efforts to deal with the situation include the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program which is a $12.5bn initiative from the African Union, the African Development Bank, and others to help enhance the continent’s ability to adapt to climate change

The program builds on an earlier $12.5bn commitment from the AfDB and will focus on climate-proofing, creating new jobs and modernising key economic sectors to support national adaptation initiatives.

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