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Local creativity for adapting to climate change among rural farmers in the semi-arid region of Ghana

Frank S. Arku (Faculty of Development Studies, Presbyterian University College, Akropong, Ghana)

International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management

ISSN: 1756-8692

Article publication date: 4 November 2013

486

Abstract

Purpose

Climate change has emerged as an important theme in the current food security discourses, and although research on local people's adaptation to climate change is increasing, more research is needed to enable sharing of different coping strategies. This research can help policymakers in documenting effective coping strategies that helped to reduce negative impacts of climate change on farmers. The research therefore determined how farmers in rural Ghana use traditional knowledge to adapt to climate changes, and how well the local knowledge worked to enhance livelihoods. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

The study took place in three communities in Ghana. Sixty participants consisting 20 from each of the communities were recruited for the study. Data were collected through focus group discussions and semi-structured interview questions. SPSS software was used to analyse the data. The Mann-Whitney U-test was used to rank the strategies in enhancing livelihoods.

Findings

Men's and women's understanding of what constitute climate change are similar – change in the rainfall amount and distribution. The coping strategies are working as hired labourers, engaging in irrigated farming, practicing of professions learned, rearing of animals, and petty trading. While the importance of the strategies to men's and women's is different, the strategies they adopted appeared to meet their household requirements.

Originality/value

The study reveals that local creativities can help in meeting rural farmers' needs during the periods of climate change. Consequently, this research has value for development organisations supporting farmers to effectively use their indigenous knowledge during the periods of climate change.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The author is grateful to the Research Assistants of Presbyterian University College, Ghana and their lead, Edwin Lartey, for assisting to collect the primary data.

Citation

S. Arku, F. (2013), "Local creativity for adapting to climate change among rural farmers in the semi-arid region of Ghana", International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management, Vol. 5 No. 4, pp. 418-430. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCCSM-08-2012-0049

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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