HTML Document Agriculture

Ghana's agriculture sector contributes significantly to its GDP, however it is a major driver of biodiversity decline in the country.

Release date 14/08/2010
Contributor Kwesi Anderson

Agriculture is the backbone of Ghana’s economy, engaging about 56% of the population and contributes 34.5% GDP (Statistical Service Ghana, 2009). Its expansion brings tremendous benefits to the country. However the impact of agricultural expansion on the country’s biodiversity may be quite disastrous as indigenous species are threatened, displaced and replaced with most often fast-growing and genetically inferior introduced varieties.

The main threat of Agriculture to biodiversity in Ghana is the conversion of natural habitat into farmlands. Food crop farming and intense grazing of livestock leads to habitat degradation and subsiquently loss of local fauna and flora. In the extreme form of habitat degradation loss of vegetation cover resulting in soil erosion, especially along slopes. The practice of shifting cultivation system and the slash and burn method of farming in Ghana implies that more natural habitats are cleared for farming year after year.  This is a major contributory factor to habitat degradation and biodiversity loss.