Early Planting Could Mitigate Climate Change Impact on Maize Yields, Suggests UNU-INRA Report

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  • May 27, 2014     Accra

    A research report by the United Nations University Institute for Natural Resources in Africa (UNU-INRA) suggests that early planting in combination with irrigation are good and cost-effective adaptation measures to reduce the impact of climate change on maize yields.

    The study entitled: “Modelling the Impact of Climate Change on Maize Yield under Rainfed Conditions in Sub-humid Ghana”, which was conducted by Dr. Benedicta Yayra Fosu-Mensah, a Visiting Scholar to the institute, posits that by the year 2050, precipitation is likely to decrease by 20% with an increase in temperatures between 1.3–1.6 oC in Ghana. According to the report, the increase in temperature and decrease in precipitation are likely to cause a delay in the onset of the rainy season, making planting long season (often high yield) cultivars interfere with minor season planting. This delay is likely to impact maize yields.

    The report indicates that delayed sowing under the condition of increase in temperatures and declining precipitation are likely to reduce maize yields by 28–35 %.  This reduction could have serious implications for food security in the country. To mitigate the impact, the study proposes early planting as soon as conditions are favourable, construction of irrigation systems using local materials and the provision of storage facilities as adaptation measures to help improve food production and availability under climate change.

    Explaining the relevance of the study, the Director of UNU-INRA, Dr. Elias Ayuk, stated that, “UNU-INRA’s mandate is to enhance the capacity of researchers to undertake studies such as this one so as to inform policies on natural resource management for Africa’s development”.

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    For more information contact:

    Praise Nutakor
    Communications and Public Relations Associate, UNU-INRA
    Tel: +233-244093010
    Email: nutakor@inra.unu.edu

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