RAINS has worked on climate and biodiversity issues since 2004 as the climate in Northern Ghana has become more discordant and extreme weather events more common. Seasons are no longer predictable and spreading environmental degradation is negatively affecting people’s livelihoods. While our efforts over the years are modest, we have built our knowledge and experience of working with farmer’s groups to mitigate the effects of climate change on their farming. Also we have become more aware of land issues and the need for support to people to help them protect their lands rather than see it grabbed by outsiders. We are working to integrate this natural resource work effectively with our other programs considering the fact that women and children are heavily impacted by the effects of climate change e.g. both are responsible for collecting water and fuel for household use and the distances they need to travel to collect them are increasing.

Currently the organization works with 450 smallholder farmers (310 women and 140 men) in five communities in Savelugu Nanton, Northern Region. These farmers previously had no access to land and extension services. We have assisted them to access land and agricultural extension services from Community Based Extension Agents (CEAs). Farmer’s capacity is being built on climate smart agricultural practices such as the use of composting and green manures as fertilizers, mulching, and water and land conservation management methods.

In addition to assisting farmers to access extension services, they are provided with information on weather and seasonal forecasting, bullock ploughing services, and assistance in the multiplication and use of indigenous seeds and tree planting. A climate vulnerability and capacity assessment (CVCA) was carried out in 2013. These efforts aim to help smallholder farmers mitigate the effects of climate change and improve their food security and livelihoods which will enable them to ensure their children’s well-being.