General Discussion

The lingering question is how to use ENSO phenomenon in agricultural planning in Ghana. As indicated earlier, one challenge is to establish that significant correlation exists between the ENSO phase and rainfall. Our limited analysis shows that indeed a significant correlation of seasonal rainfall with the pre-season ENSO phase with at least a 3-month lead time could be attained at some sites, but not all. How then do we improve the correlation skills? Given that Ghana's rainfall is also influenced by the Atlantic SSTs (Opoku-Ankomah and Cordrey 1994), further research may attempt to combine Atlantic and Pacific SSTs in seasonal rainfall forecast in Ghana. Using crop simulation modeling, we have also shown that indeed, peanut and maize yields at Akatsi can be clearly partitioned between the ENSO phases. Further, cropping strategies could be designed to exploit the forecast information. For example, early planting supported by modest fertilizer input would lead to significant higher yields in maize than any other strategy (Table 20.2). Without fertilizer input, however, late planting gave the best yields for El NiƱo. The final issue of concern is how to communicate ENSO information to end users (Extension Officers and farmers). This may require surveys of farmers' understanding of weather issues, weather schools, stakeholder meetings and actual field experiments to demonstrate the validity of ENSO-based cropping strategies. This aspect remains unexplored and research focus should be extended to such areas.

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment