Ghana is a vibrant country located in West Africa that is known for its stable democracy, friendly people and vast cocoa production. Ghana gained independence from Britain in 1957, becoming the first sub-Saharan nation to break free from colonial rule.
Despite much progress, Ghana’s economy is now in crisis. As of 2022, Ghana has been shut off from the international market because of extremely high inflation, according to the World Bank. Driven by food prices, the country’s inflation rose to a staggering 43% in the summer of 2023. Ghana now ranks as the country with the highest food prices in all of Sub-Saharan Africa.
The national poverty rate for Ghana is projected to hit 34 percent by 2025 – a stark contrast for a country that once halved their poverty rates between 1991 and 2016 down to just 13 percent.
Where CFTC works in Ghana
CFTC works in Northern Ghana where communities are being hardest hit. The region is isolated from the economic centre of Accra and is more reliant on climate-affected agriculture. It has lagged behind the country’s progress in its fight against poverty and will be most affected by worsening economic conditions over the coming years.
Most farmers in Northern Ghana are smallholder farmers, which are families farming less than two hectares of land. Smallholder farmers feed their families with their produce and use the rest to earn money to care for their children and send them to school. When a crop fails, it has devastating impacts on children’s health and wellbeing.
And crop failures have been happening more often. Farmers in Northern Ghana are experiencing changes in temperature, rainfall patterns, and extreme weather events like floods and droughts. With an estimated 80 percent of all farms in Ghana being rain-fed, erratic weather patterns are having a dramatic effect.
Within just one generation, northern Ghanaian smallholder farmers went from relying on two rainy seasons to just one. Rising temperatures have also caused an increase in the presence of pests and diseases that can lead to crop failure – an issue that is predicted to only get worse.
Ghana will need to rely on international donors to fund climate change interventions as the current economic climate in the country will not allow for Ghana to self-fund activities.
That’s where our generous donors come in. CFTC has been tackling hunger and the impacts of climate change in Northern Ghana since 2000. Our donors help fund the work of two local partners, the Regional Advisory Information and Network Systems (RAINS), located in the Northern Region, and Trade Aid Integrated (TAI), located in the Upper East Region.
Together, we’ve helped teach smallholder farmers climate-smart agriculture, making them more resilient to these evolving challenges. We’ve ensured children attending school are receiving the nutrition they need to grow healthy and strong. And we’ve worked to empower more women who invest back into their children.