Agricultural Development and Value Chain Enhancement Activity II in GhanaWest Africa


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.

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CCAFS Climate-Smart Agriculture 101

The basics

Climate-smart agriculture (CSA) is an integrative approach to address these interlinked challenges of food security and climate change, that explicitly aims for three objectives:

A. Sustainably increasing agricultural productivity, to support equitable increases in farm incomes, food security and development;

B. Adapting and building resilience of agricultural and food security systems to climate change at multiple levels; and

C. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture (including crops, livestock and fisheries).

Entry points

Agriculture affects and is affected by climate change in a wide range of ways and there are numerous entry points for initiating CSA programmes or enhancing existing activities. Productivity, mitigation and adaptation actions can take place at different technological, organizational, institutional and political levels. To help you navigate these myriad entry points we have grouped them under three Thematic Areas: (i) CSA practices, (ii) CSA systems approaches, and (iii) Enabling environments for CSA. Each entry point is then described and analysed in terms of productivity, adoption and mitigation potential and is illustrated with cases studies, references and internet links for further information.

Develop a CSA plan

Planning for, implementing and monitoring CSA projects and programmes evolves around issues of understanding the context including identification of major problems/barriers and opportunities related to the focus of the programme; developing and prioritizing solutions and designing plans; implementation; and monitoring and evaluation. Most major development agencies have their own framework for project and programme formulation and management but CCAFS has developed a specific approach for planning, implementing and assessing CSA projects and programme called CSA plan. CSA plan was developed to provide a guide for operationalizing CSA planning, implementation and monitoring at scale. CSA plan consist of four major components: (1) Situation analysis; (2) Targeting and prioritizing; (3) Program support; and (4) Monitoring. evaluation and learning.


To meet the objectives of CSA, such as agricultural development, food security and climate change adaptation and mitigation, a number of potential funding sources are available. For instance, climate finance sources may be used to leverage agriculture finance and mainstream climate change into agricultural investments. This section offers an overview of potential sources of funding for activities in climate-smart agriculture (CSA) at national, regional and international levels and for a number of different potential ‘clients’ including governments, civil society, development organizations and others. Additionally, it includes options to search among a range of funding opportunities according to CSA focus area, sector and financing instrument.

Resource library

CSA Guide provides a short and concise introduction and overview of the multifaceted aspects of climate-smart agriculture. At the same time it offers links to references and key resources that allows for further investigations and understanding of specific topics of interest. In the resource library we have gathered all the references, key resources, terms and questions in one place for a quick overview and easy access that can be used as a part of or independently of the other sections of the website. The resource library is divided into six sections; (1) References – list all publications, links and blogs referred to on the website; (2) Tools – list all the CSA tools presented on the website; (3) Key terms – explains the most important and frequently used terms related to CSA; (4) Frequently asked questions (FAQ) – provides a rapid overview of the most common questions asked on climate-smart agriculture; (5) About – where you can find out more about the purpose and structure of, as well as on the organizations and authors behind the website; (6) Contact.

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