Kwadwo Owusu

Kwadwo Owusu
University of Ghana | Legon · Department of Geography and Resource Development

PhD
Interested in advancing knowledge on smallholder farmers resilience to climate change impacts.

About

61
Publications
43,388
Reads
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1,183
Citations
Citations since 2017
33 Research Items
1000 Citations
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Introduction
Kwadwo Owusu currently works at the Department of Geography and Resource Development, University of Ghana as an Associate Professor. Kwadwo does research in Climatology, Climate Variability and Smallholder Farmers’ Adaptation. His current projects include Climate Smart Cocoa (CLIMCOCOA) System for Ghana and also a member of the Building Stronger Universities BSU III project at the University of Ghana.
Additional affiliations
August 2009 - present
University of Ghana
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
Description
  • Teaching, Research and Extension
August 2009 - present
University of Ghana
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
August 2009 - October 2018
University of Ghana
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
Education
August 2001 - July 2009
University of Florida
Field of study
  • Geogaphy

Publications

Publications (61)
Article
Full-text available
Focus on potentially increased frequency of extreme hydro-climatological events under climate change is intensified by Ghana’s reliance on rainfed agriculture, and the question whether precipitation climatology has returned to conditions prevailing before the regional drought of the 1970s and 80s. This study examines long-term (44–51 years), comple...
Article
Full-text available
The susceptibility of cocoa to harsh climatic conditions is evident in cocoa growing areas in Ghana, and climate distribution models show reduced cocoa suitability to climate change. We assessed how cocoa health and productivity were affected by varying climate conditions for 4 years in 23 cocoa farms along a gradient of low rainfall/high temperatu...
Article
CONTEXT Cocoa agroforestry systems differ in the diversity of shade tree species composition. Though cocoa benefits from shade, there is a lack of species-specific information on shade trees that enhance soil fertility and yield. OBJECTIVE We examined how soil characteristics and cocoa yield were affected by eight commonly retained forest tree spe...
Chapter
Cocoa cultivation is both severely threatened by climate change and a potential contributor to climate change through deforestation. Based on a review of the literature and secondary documents, as well as field observations and interviews, this chapter examines different innovations in Ghana’s cocoa sector, the ways in which they aim to address sus...
Article
Full-text available
Shade is one of the recommended management solutions to mitigate the effects of heat stress, which is a major challenge for cocoa production globally. Nevertheless, there are limited studies to verify this hypothesis. Here, we evaluate the effects of heat and shade on cocoa physiology using experimental plots with six-month old potted seedlings in...
Article
Full-text available
This study examines the recent changes in extreme rainfall events over Accra, Ghana. For this study, an extreme rainfall event is defined as a day with rainfall equal to or exceeding the 1980–2019 95th percentile. Knowing extreme rainfall events help to identify the years with the likelihood of rainfall-related disasters in Accra. In addition, it h...
Article
Full-text available
This paper examines the causes of widespread maize production failure in Ghana during the 2020 minor growing season. A mixed-methods approach was used to study smallholder maize farmers in the Ejura-Sekyedumase Municipality to provide a holistic understanding of the factors behind the maize production failure and to inform policy interventions. The...
Article
Downscaling of an ensemble of eight Regional Climate Models forced with five Global Climate Models was performed for the emission scenarios pathways RCP 2.6 and 8.5 using observed daily rainfall data from 1980 to 2014 over northern Ghana. Results indicate an increasing trend in annual total rainfall, higher inter‐annual variability and a higher fre...
Article
Full-text available
This study investigated land tenure potential to influence farmers’ adaptive responses to climate change. A quantitative approach was employed to determine how crop farmers’ farmland tenure arrangements influence their adaptive responses to climate change impacts in the Lawra District of semi-arid north western Ghana. Field data were gathered from...
Chapter
Despite massive flood controlling investments, perennial flooding continues to be a major challenge in the Greater Accra Metropolitan Assembly in Ghana. Previous studies have mostly considered the vulnerability of Accra to flooding induced by urbanization and climate change. This chapter examined the impacts of and adaptation strategies to flooding...
Article
Socio-cultural norms can potentially enhance the adaptive capacities of some groups while constraining the capacities of others. Using household surveys, focus group discussions, and key informant interviews in four communities in the Nkoranza South municipality, Ghana, this article examines how socio-cultural norms influence the climate change ada...
Article
This study investigated evidence of climate change impacts on cassava and yam production and its implications on smallholder farmers’ livelihood in the Jaman South District of Ghana. Data were collected from 200 smallholder farmers using multi-stage purposive sampling technique. Rainfall and temperature data for the district corroborated the farmer...
Article
Full-text available
This study reports on projected temperature increases and their likely implication on smallholder farming systems across the northern regions of Ghana. Aggregated climate data from 1961 to 2000 show that the mean annual temperature across Ghana rose by 1.0 ℃, with the greatest rate of change in the northern–eastern part of the country. For the deve...
Article
This study, based on vegetable production fields, combined soil quality assessed by three approaches (qualitatively by farmers, semi-quantitatively by a researcher and quantitatively by laboratory analyses) with the aim of improving the integration of the different approaches. We interviewed 79 peri-urban vegetable growers in two communities within...
Article
This study investigated evidence of climate change impacts on cassava and yam production and its implications on smallholder farmers’ livelihood in the Jaman South District of Ghana. Data were collected from 200 smallholder farmers using multi-stage purposive sampling technique. Rainfall and temperature data for the district corroborated the farmer...
Chapter
The impacts of climate change in the Accra and Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Areas of Ghana were identified and prioritised in this study. Climate change is already happening in Ghana and for that matter the two coastal Metropolitan areas under review. Temperature has risen by over 1oC since 1960 and rainfall has declined in all agro-ecological zon...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose This paper aims to provide empirical evidence on the El Nino and its effects on maize production in three municipalities: Ejura, Techiman and Wenchi in the transitional zone of Ghana. Using a mixed approach, the study details the effects of the El Nino on rainy season characteristics, particularly, rainfall amounts and distribution, onset...
Article
Full-text available
Ghana’s socio-economic development, since independence, has been driven by the Akosombo and Kpong dams that provide water (for domestic, agriculture and industrial use) and hydroelectricity. It was hoped that with these past experiences, the Ghana government would be in a better position to manage the livelihood issues of the newly built Bui hydroe...
Article
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 effe...
Article
Full-text available
Achieving food security and livelihood development among vulnerable households in the semi-arid regions is challenged by water scarcity and climate change. To alleviate the challenges of water scarcity and climate change impacts, farmers are adopting different climate smart agriculture (CSA) practices. However, there is limited knowledge on the con...
Article
Full-text available
Through an interpretive research paradigm, we investigated the extent to which six local governments across three administrative regions of Ghana have complied with mandated climate change financing and budgeting guidelines. Five interesting findings emerged. First, there is enormous evidence of climate change budgeting compliance across all six lo...
Article
In this study, we examined the downstream social impacts of Ghana’s Bui Dam and identified resource use conflicts in the non-resettled communities within a 30 km stretch along the course of the Black Volta River below the dam. Through household survey questionnaires and focus group discussions, data were collected from farming and fishing communities...
Article
Rainfall variability is described as an integral part of the climatology of West Africa with high inter-annual and multi-decadal variability of alternate dry and wet periods between 20 to 30 years. Earlier studies have identified a dry 1970s and 1980s that decimated economic activities and rural livelihoods. Post 2000, there have been reports of a...
Chapter
This chapter discusses the environmental and social governance issues of the Bui dam project in Ghana, built and financed by Chinese companies and banks. Based on qualitative data collections using focus group discussions and individual interviews with both Chinese and local stakeholders, the analysis which is underpinned by the political ecology f...
Article
Full-text available
This paper discusses the gender dimensions of climate change adaptation strategies among small holder crop farmers in the transition zone of Ghana. A total of 612 farmers (328 females and 284 males) were interviewed using purposive sampling technique. Our results indicate that adaptation strategies are gendered with men mostly resorting to on-farm...
Article
Full-text available
Emerging issues from Bui hydro-power project are suggesting that the experiences of two earlier hydropower projects in Ghana failed in preventing challenges related to resource access and livelihoods. This paper examined the nature of the challenges, their causes, why they were not avoided and the role of the Chinese builders. Forty-three interview...
Article
Full-text available
Ghana’s economy heavily relies on agriculture, which is predominantly rain- fed across its agro-ecological zones. As a result of this, it is vulnerable to rainfall variability, which tends to have a major impact on the industrial and agricultural production sectors of the country. This study investigates the variations occurring across two major fa...
Article
Ghana continues to rely heavily on hydropower for her electricity needs. This hydropower reliance cannot ensure sustainable development since there is a strong association between hydropower production and climate variability and change including ENSO-related lake water levels reduction. Using regression analysis this study found that rainfall vari...
Article
Construction of dams affects the livelihoods of the population living along the dammed river. There is a need for more studies to guide dam development policies and management to safeguard the livelihoods of local river users. This paper examines the effects of dams on the socio-economic livelihoods of downstream communities by drawing on the Kpong...
Technical Report
Full-text available
In Ghana, large dams have contributed immensely to socioeconomic development through the provision of drinking water and hydroelectricity. Dams however come at a cost mostly to people who live near them. It was hoped that with the experiences of the two previous dams Ghana would have prevented or managed the livelihood issues of the newly built Bui...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Outline • Background • Study Area • Methodology • Results and Discussion • Conclusion • Recommendations • References 2
Article
The construction of the Bui Dam was expected to boost socio-economic development in Ghana. This article examines the impacts of the project on the livelihoods of the local people. Data were collected using a mixed-research approach and a case-study design. The study finds that, while there have been significant improvements with respect to resettle...
Article
Full-text available
We analyze and intercompare the performance of a set of ten regional climate models (RCMs) along with the ensemble mean of their statistics in simulating daily precipi-tation characteristics during the West African monsoon (WAM) period (June–July–August–September). The experi-ments are conducted within the framework of the COordinated Regional Down...
Chapter
Although environmental change represents a global developmental challenge (Foresight, 2011; Piguet, 2013), there is enough evidence to suggest that climate change/variability particularly affects people living in poor and drier regions of Africa (Odada et al., 2008; Mertz et al., 2009). Farmers in Africa are particularly affected by changes in temp...
Chapter
Full-text available
Climate change is unequivocal and these changes have increased over the past few years. The recent vulnerability and prospect of climate variability and change impact, thus, warrants measures now to reduce the adverse impacts. This is especially important in relation to smallholder farmers whose activities provide large proportion of the food consu...
Article
Full-text available
Climate change is projected to impact human health, particularly incidence of water related and vector borne diseases, such as malaria. A better understanding of the relationship between rainfall patterns and malaria cases is thus required for effective climate change adaptation strategies involving planning and implementation of appropriate diseas...
Article
This paper re-examines one of the longest continuous monthly rainfall records in West Africa (1895 -2005) for evidence of longer-term periodic behavior of annual and seasonal rainfall totals through the use of a sliding, rather than discrete, thirty year window. The approach provides greater flexibility in defining periods of shifting behavior. The...
Article
This article examines the challenges associated with rainwater harvesting and usage in peri-urban Accra. Data collected from 357 heads of household reveal that rainwater harvesting has the potential to supplement existing water sources in peri-urban Accra. However, high investment costs for rainwater harvesting facilities, short-term tenancy arrang...
Article
Full-text available
In recent years, there has been a consensus among development practitioners and academics that improving market access for smallholders will lead to improvement in income and food security. This notwithstanding, market failures often limit smallholders’ ability to be linked to markets. To address these challenges, market interventions such as colle...
Article
Full-text available
Although maize farmers may not have a clear understanding of climate change, they live close to natural resources and are among the first in perceiving and reacting to environmental changes. They have observed and felt the effects of decreasing rainfall, emphasizing changes in the regularity, length, intensity and timing of rainfall; increasing air...
Article
Full-text available
This paper used the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) Regional Climate Model, Version 3 (RegCM3) and rain gauge data selected from the Ghana Meteorological Agency (GMet) from 1990 to 2008 to investigate the extent and nature of variability in the annual rainfall and pattern of the raining seasons in Ghana. In the study, six meteor...
Article
Full-text available
This paper investigates how well the rainfall regime on which many livelihoods depend, in Ghana is well represented by the Coordinated Regional Climate Downscaling Experiment (CORDEX). The objective of the study is to demonstrate how well the ten CORDEX models are able to capture the spatial and temporal rainfall seasonality over the southern and n...
Article
Full-text available
This paper investigates how well the rainfall regime on which many livelihoods depend, in Ghana is well represented by the Coordinated Regional Climate Downscaling Experiment (CORDEX). The objective of the study is to demonstrate how well the ten CORDEX models are able to capture the spatial and temporal rainfall seasonality over the southern and n...
Article
Full-text available
The characteristics of rainfall regime and its variability in the sub-humid region of mid-Ghana is analyzed using daily rainfall data from the Wenchi, 1950–2000. Prior research in the area, suggests that climatic variability occurs at lower frequencies than the typical ENSO signal and may be more closely related to noted shifts in global climatic p...
Article
Full-text available
Daily rainfall data are examined through the temporal analysis of various definitions of variable temporal units (VTUs) consisting of combinations of various starting dates and durations over mid-Ghana. These VTUs are independent of, yet encompass, the starting dates and durations of the major and minor rainy seasons. Within each VTU, total rainfal...
Article
Full-text available
Coastal communities worldwide are becoming increasingly vulnerable to a wide range of potential hazards including shoreline erosion and coastal resource degradation. The problem is exacerbated due to rapid urbanization and the concomitant anthropogenic beach changes which influences coastal processes. The lack of basic services and disaster warning...
Article
Full-text available
We present evidence from the analysis of gridded annual rainfall data that, increased variability and declining rainfall totals are the main cause of declining lake levels in the Volta basin above the Akosombo Dam. West Africa has undergone a period of diminished rainfall, punctuated by a series of severe droughts and marked by a shift in rainfall...
Article
Full-text available
Better understanding of the nature and spatial extent of rainfall variability in humid regions of mid-Ghana and the impact of declining rainfall totals in the Volta basin are the main goals of this study. The data utilized are daily rainfall totals for Ghana and gridded annual rainfall totals covering the Volta basin. The first aspect of variabilit...

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Projects

Projects (3)
Project
Promote teaching and research in climate change adaptation and mitigation in smallholder farming systems.
Project
The objective of CLIMCOCOA is to develop a comprehensive understanding of the impacts of climate change on cocoa production systems in Ghana and assess the role of agroforestry as a model for climate smart agriculture. The project includes ecophysiological studies, farm evaluations and investigations of socio-economic and institutional aspects.
Project
A one year project supported by the Office of Research, Innovation and Development (ORID), University of Ghana. The objective is to assess the livelihood challenges faced by downstream communities who were not covered by compensation and resettlement plan of the Bui Dam project. Project Reference Number: URF/7/ILG‐040/2013‐2014