African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6848

Article in Press

Indigenous tillage and water conservation practices to mitigate the adverse effects of climatic change in northern Ghana

Gandaa, Bizoola Zinzoola and Issaka, Balma Yakubu

  •  Received: 09 August 2023
  •  Accepted: 24 April 2024
Northern Ghana, located in the dry savannah zone of Ghana, is highly susceptible to climate change and its effects, adversely affecting crop production. In many parts of northern Ghana, the cultivation of traditional cereals has decreased due to climate change. Against this backdrop, this study aims to explore the use of indigenous knowledge to mitigate the harmful effects of climate change on millet (Pennisetum americanum L.) and sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) production. Specifically, the study evaluates indigenous flood and drought management methods used to sustain millet and sorghum cultivation in the study area. Four hundred and fifty individual farmers, randomly selected, were interviewed using questionnaires. Additionally, key informants, including farmers, experts and opinion leaders, selected based on their knowledge and experience in crop production, traditional farming practices and understanding of climate variability, were interviewed. The study found that farmers utilised an elaborate indigenous early warning weather system to predict land preparation and planting time. Additionally, most farmers employed indigenous soil and water conservation methods in conjunction with indigenous land preparation and planting techniques to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change. These include earth mounds, ridges, stone bunds, thrash lines, dynamic kraaling, compost and manure application. The study recommends integrating traditional and formal weather forecasting techniques to mitigate the effects of climate change effectively. However, this requires further research to improve the scientific rigidity and replicability of indigenous weather forecasting mechanisms.

Keywords: Climate variability, Climate change, Millet, Sorghum, Traditional weather forecasting, Ghana