In Ghana, food security has been an important topic of discussion. However, due to the developments of both rapid urbanisation and climate change food security in the future, Ghana will face new challenges especially in urban areas. With the Transition Support System (TSS) approach, Wageningen Economic Research looked at the influence of climate scenarios and population projections on the future consumption of rice, fruit and vegetables in Accra.
Future challenges in food security
With the TSS approach, Wageningen Economic Research conducted an expert meeting with experts on food security and on urban issues in Ghana in order to explore what the most urgent questions are in the area of urban food security in the future. In addition, the results were presented from the scenario analysis conducted with the global economic model “Magnet”. Wageningen Economic Research identified the trends on population, income per capita, food demand and food supply for the Social Shared Pathways scenarios (SSP) prepared by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). With geographical information tools, the potential developments in current and projected food production and consumption patterns in urban Ghana were investigated.
There were three scenarios discussed: Ecotopia (sustainable and equal), Business as usual (current policy will be continued) and Too Little, Too Late (not sustainable and not equal). For each scenario, the results showed how much agricultural land is needed around the capital Accra to guarantee food security for fruit, vegetables and rice.
In the Business as usual (SSP2) scenario, for example, the proportion of Ghana's inhabitants in cities will rise from 54 percent today to 70.4 percent in 2050. The production of fruit and vegetables would be feasible in this scenario, but in order to cover the need for rice, the whole country was needed. This is a problem, as variety of food is also important. And the question arises whether you can produce that food yourself or whether it has to come from elsewhere.
With the experts, we discussed what would be the most desirable future from the food security perspective, and how could the transition to this future be addressed by different groups of stakeholders. The role and participation of stakeholders are key in this TSS approach. During the meeting, stakeholders were able to share their knowledge and experiences. It's about giving those at the wheel insight into the consequences of the policy, whether it's 'Ecotopia' or 'Business as usual'.