Climate risks and household responses for sustainable food security in northern Ghana

Project by Balikisu Osman

This research explores how farming households implement coping, adaptation, and insurance practices in the face of climatic shock and impacts, and how the practices shape their food availability, accessibility, utilization, and socio-economic stability. The study focuses on the northern savannah areas of Ghana, specifically the communities in the Kassena Nankana Municipal area. The choice of this geographical location is given in the methodology section. The main research question is: How do farming households’ experiences with climatic hazards in Kassena Nankana Municipal area interact with various forms of vulnerabilities to induce risks for their food security, and what are the response practices for managing the climatic risks for sustainable food security in the area?

This is subdivided into the following four sub-questions and data needs:

  1. How do the study communities rank in terms of climatic hazards and food system vulnerability? What does the combined ranking tell us about climatic risk and food insecurity in the Kassena Nankana Municipal?
  2. What are household response practices for coping, adaptation, and insuring against risks from climatic hazards? What factors influence the households’ adoption of these risk responses?
  3. What is the relationship between a household response practice and sustainable food security? How do the response strategies contribute to reducing households’ vulnerability to food insecurity throughout the year without rebounding or shifting or eroding sustainable efforts to maintain food security?
  4. What lessons does the above evidence present for advancing Ghana’s climate change strategy for food security and the possible applicability in other areas of the developing world?

In the end, the research seeks to contribute explanations of how poor people use their creativity, rationality, and strengths towards sustaining livelihood goals in times of climate shocks – specifically the sustainable livelihood goals relating to improving food security and reducing vulnerability. The research will also present empirical evidence to help support the Government of Ghana, development organizations, and private sector investors in developing and supporting existing resilient, innovative solutions to climate change and food insecurity challenges.