ACCRA, GHANA — In Ghana’s capital, urban farmers are surviving and some thriving, even as new building projects continue to transform the city. But as Accra moves forward on a path of urbanization, local farmers are being increasingly threatened by climate change. Recent increases in the frequency and intensity of flooding during the country’s rainy season are being attributed to changes in the region’s climate. Months after deadly flooding in June, Accra’s farmers are still struggling with the personal loss and financial damages caused by the flooding.
To promote climate-smart agricultural practices in communities around the world, the Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) has established a new initiative set up by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) to develop innovative tools for urban farmers to put into action. With these new tools, farmers will have an opportunity to access well-researched climate change data that can be used to develop more sustainable agribusinesses.
Below you’ll find 3 of the most promising new tools from CCAFS that Accra’s urban farmers can use to bring their agribusinesses to the next level while helping the city achieve its resiliency goals.
Climate Wizard (@climatewizard) is an online platform that allows scientists and agriculturalists to visualize the impact of climate change anywhere on Earth. Urban farmers can then use the data to help guide their farming practices.
Users can view climate change impact from the past 50 years and follow projected changes all the way up to 2080. Users can also access historical and projected monthly or annual temperature and precipitation data. A comprehensive list of FAQs makes the platform accessible to even first-time users.
Geo-Wiki is a mobile application and web-base platform, that engages citizens across the globe in environmental monitoring . Users can upload pictures from their communities, document land use, flooding areas and more. The pictures are automatically tagged with information such as geo-coordinates and users can compare them to global map images from Google Earth. In a city like Accra, urban farmers could use the app to determine the potential of additional agricultural land available to grow crops.
MarkSimGCM is known as a ‘stochastic weather-generating tool‘ among climate change researchers and was designed with sub-Saharan Africa in mind where prolonged rainfall can be destructive to farmers. The online platform generates simulated daily data for multiple years about rainfall, maximum and minimum temperatures and solar radiation to better inform agricultural impact models.
MarkSimGCM also allows its users to create various weather simulations where they can look at different crop models, soil composition and weigh the risks of growing various crops in a given location during different times of the year.
ROAD TO RESILIENCE
For more about Accra’s efforts as part of the ‘100 Resilient Cities’ challenge to be more inclusive, safe and sustainable, follow our Road to Resilience series and tweet us at @africarizing using hashtag, #Rd2Resilience.