Agroecological Niches as Ecosystem-Based Adaptive Option to Environmental Change in the Forest-Savanna Transition Zone of Ghana

  •  Benjamin Ofori    
  •  Jesse Ayivor    
  •  Opoku Pabi    
  •  Christopher Gordon    


Generally, local farmers are able to adapt to environmental change (and developments in socio-economic conditions) by engaging in a range of creative practices of on-farm management, use of improved crop varieties and adoption of new technologies. However in the past few decades, there has been growing interest in other adaptive options with the potential of addressing household food security and the multiple dimensions of sustainable agriculture. This study therefore examined the use of niche environments in the agricultural landscape as ecosystem-based adaptive strategy to environmental change among 102 farmers of 9 fringe communities of the Kogyae Strict Nature Reserve of the forest-savanna transition zone in Ghana. The study noted the increasing shift from maize cultivation to rice production using marshy areas and low-lying parts of farm fields and farms. The farmers mentioned climatic, ecological and other socio-economic reasons for this trend. They cited growing insecurity associated with maize production due to changing rainfall pattern and reduction in rainfall amounts, and changes in land cover and soil conditions. Additionally, they emphasized the relative ease with which they are able to store rice and the willingness of padi buyers to visit the villages in spite of the poor nature of the roads. The study advocated for greater institutional support to boost local rice production in order to reduce the country’s heavy dependence on imports.

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