Are local development plans mainstreaming climate-smart agriculture? A mixed-content analysis of medium-term development plans in semi-arid Ghana.

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Socio-Ecological Practice Research, 2021, 3, (2), pp. 185-206
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In Africa, climate change impacts including, but not limited to, erratic rainfall and prolonged droughts are already affecting farmers' productivity and disrupting households' livelihoods. Following this realization are recommendations for implementing climate-smart agriculture (CSA) as adaptation and resilience pathways to address the negative ramifications of climate change impacts. While CSA mainstreaming is strong at the global and national levels, it remains a challenge at the local level. To understand CSA mainstreaming at the local level, this paper utilizes mixed-content analysis to deconstruct eleven local development plans for the 2018-2021 plan period for the Upper West Region, a semi-arid region of Ghana. Results show that CSA mainstreaming is a challenge, despite a general awareness of climate change impacts on agriculture. The plans lacked adequate data on local climate change trends and impacts leading to discrepancies among CSA problematization, development goals, objectives, and strategies-raising serious concerns about ownership and localization of CSA in semi-arid Ghana. Also, awareness of climate finance opportunities to support CSA interventions was absent in the plans. This paper suggests a review of the national guidelines for preparing local development plans by integrating resources for CSA, climate assessment and information systems, and climate finance opportunities. This should be complemented by building institutional capacity and partnerships with nongovernmental organizations as well as other development partners working on CSA at the local level.
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