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El Niño‐Southern Oscillation, rainfall variability and sustainable agricultural development in the Ho Municipality, Ghana

Kwadwo Owusu, Selorm K. Darkey and Sylvester A. Boadi

Natural Resources Forum, 2019, vol. 43, issue 1, 31-40

Abstract: El Niño‐Southern Oscillation (ENSO), which occurs in the Equatorial Pacific Ocean, has been identified to have significant influence on rainfall variability throughout the world, especially in the tropics. Such variability in rainfall has implications for agrarian economies, such as that in Ghana. This study therefore sought to demonstrate the effect of ENSO‐induced variability in annual and seasonal rainfall on the development of sustainable agriculture in the Ho Municipality of Ghana. Using 61 years of monthly rainfall data (1955–2015) for the Ho Municipality and ENSO indices, this study showed that 15% of the variability in total annual rainfall is explained by the ENSO phenomena. Mean annual rainfall and rainfall in the major rainy season decreased for El Niño years, in addition to a more variable rainfall compared to that received in La Niña years. The major growing season was observed to be longer in La Niña years and shorter in El Niño years. This means that the potential for crop cultivation will be severely hampered in an El Niño year. Farmers within the municipality are therefore encouraged to harness other complementary water sources for farming activities and also employ water management strategies during El Niño years.

Date: 2019
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https://doi.org/10.1111/1477-8947.12161

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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:wly:natres:v:43:y:2019:i:1:p:31-40

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