Climate Change Damaging African Farms

The extreme weather recently experienced by Ghana has led many experts to hypothesize that the long-term effects of climate change may be here to stay.

Much like the United States, Ghana has experienced a string of poor weather. These unusual weather patterns are currently endangering the country’s economic development. Agriculture is the most important part of the Ghanaian economy, accounting for about half of GDP and export earnings and employing half of the population.

Ghana’s agricultural strength, combined with ample natural resources, has made Ghana one of the world’s fastest growing economies.

These gains are threatened, however, by global climate change. In southern Ghana, torrential rains for the past several days have destroyed crops and flooded cropland, destroying millions of dollars worth of agricultural goods.

Northern Ghana is currently experiencing a major drought. The drought is particularly damaging to the Ghanaian economy given that it is the nation’s breadbasket, producing most of its agricultural goods. Over the last three years, rice production, a staple for Ghana, has decreased from 540,000 metric tons to 360,000 metric tons.

Current estimates predict even higher losses for 2011, with productivity down by over 35 percent.

Ghana’s predicament highlights some of the major problems with global climate change. Ghana contributes very little to greenhouse gas emissions, but like many African nations, suffers from some of the worst effects of climate changes.

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer