Achieving food security and livelihood development among vulnerable households in the semi-arid regions is challenged by water scarcity and climate change. To alleviate the challenges of water scarcity and climate change impacts, farmers are adopting different climate smart agriculture (CSA) practices. However, there is limited knowledge on the contribution of CSA practices to livelihoods of farmers in semi-arid northern Ghana. Therefore, this paper explored CSA practices adopted by smallholder farmers and assessed the contribution of dry season farming to livelihoods in rural semi-arid Ghana. Using data from 100 households, farm income, household food security and subjective wellbeing (SWB) were compared between dry season farmers and non-dry season ones. The findings showed that socio-economic factors hindered the utilisation of practices with high start-up cost such as rain water harvesting. Farmers also adopted other practices based on the benefits, ease of use and geographical context. Comparing dry season farmers and non-dry season ones, the results showed that dry season farming had great potentials of improving income, food security (66%) and wellbeing (P>0.01) of rural households in semi-arid Ghana. However, adopting CSA practices only without instituting programmes to address other socio-economic challenges faced by smallholder farmers will yield minimal impacts. Complementing CSA initiatives with poverty alleviation programmes will effectively contribute to improved livelihoods in resource poor communities.
Alare, R. S., Owusu, E. H., & Owusu, K. (2018). Climate Smart Agriculture Practices in Semi-arid Northern Ghana: Implications for Sustainable Livelihoods. Journal of Sustainable Development, 11(5), 57. https://doi.org/10.5539/jsd.v11n5p57