Forging partnerships to tackle invasive species in Ghana’s farming communities

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In Ghana, pests and diseases cause food and agriculture-related losses valued at USD 1 billion annually, impacting the economy and the livelihoods of smallholder farmers. Climate change makes the challenge harder to address as warmer temperatures attract more invasive species. So, 11 public and private sector organizations collaboratively developed an Early Warning and Rapid Response System for Pests and Diseases to protect the country’s food system.

A fall armyworm outbreak in Ghana in 2016 led to a maize yield loss of USD 177 million, threatening food security and the livelihood of thousands of maize farmers.

Fortune Kangur, a 36-year-old maize farmer from Naburnye, a village in Lawra district of Ghana, was one of such farmers. She said the outbreak was devastating.

“The loss was severe. It left many maize farmers with nothing to harvest. Before the outbreak, I could harvest eight bags of maize on an acre of land, but I was lucky to get the three and a half bags I harvested that year”, she said.

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