Although poverty has declined in Ghana in recent years, the northern areas of Ghana, specifically the rural Savannah zone, account for a disproportionate amount of the country’s poverty, especially people living in rural areas with agricultural-based livelihoods. Additionally, building resilience in agriculture in climate-vulnerable areas is important, as Ghanaian farmers can be impacted by floods, droughts, heat stress, erratic rainfall, declining surface waters, land degradation and desertification. ADVANCE II is a project funded by USAID’s Feed the Future initiative aimed to increase food security by addressing environmental issues and increasing competitiveness among 113,000 smallholder farmers in the Upper East, Upper West and Northern Regions. ADVANCE II focuses on implementing soil management improvements, crop residue burning reduction, alternate wetting and drying, and/or fertilizer and pesticide management in one or all of the maize, soybean, and rice value chains.
Relationship to CSA
Farmers benefitted from increased productivity due to improved fertilizer use, better seeds, and integrated pest management, as well as regular plant spacing and additional good cultivation practices. Soil management improvements, reduced crop residue burning and alternate wetting and drying also caused net decreases in emissions. Increased productivity decreased emission intensity in all targeted value chains.
Impact and lessons learned
Growth in agricultural productivity and reduction in postharvest losses due to ADVANCE II were expected to reduce crops’ greenhouse gas emission intensity in upland rice, rainfed rice, irrigated rice, maize, and soybean value chains. Though increases in fertilizer and pesticide use led to small increases in GHG emissions. It was estimated that ADVANCE II would achieve moderate mitigation co-benefits from improved soil management, reduction in crop residue burning, and alternative wetting and drying of irrigated rice. The project area moved from a low net source of greenhouse gas emissions toward carbon neutrality, would continue as ADVANCE II achieveds project targets.