Social / Feature




Ghana’s Irrigation Potentials Untapped
By Masahudu Ankiilu Kunateh, Ghanadot

Accra, Jan 20, Ghanadot - The total potential of irrigable land in Ghana is put at 500,000 hectares with the current area developed for irrigation estimated at 11,000 hectares. This means that as a country, after 50 years of independence, Ghana has been able to develop only 0.02% of its irrigable land.

It is therefore no surprise that irrigation has not as yet impacted significantly on Ghana’s food production. Ghana needs to pay more attention to irrigationif the country is to develop and expand its agro-industries for the country’s economic growth and development at this stage, experts have warned.

Ghana has comparative advantage in the cultivation of many crops, especially export vegetables but due to low productivity, poor product quality, poor timing of harvest for export and other factors, the country has not taken full advantage of her share of the world’s horticultural market to turn things around.

One of the most important factors that have been identified as militating against the growth of the agricultural are inadequate and limited irrigation infrastructure and practice.

Also, increase in agricultural growth will require major investments in irrigation infrastructure, which will create opportunities for the private sector to establish primarily agro-based businesses in rural areas.

The need for irrigation is deeply rooted in the fact that it is important that Ghana reduces over dependence on rainfall in order to achieve more reliable levels of crop production in both quantity and quality and provide opportunities for farmers to adopt improved farming practices and to practice farming as a business throughout the year.

Additionally, the absence of irrigation makes investments in the agricultural sector risky due to frequent dry spells which can seriously affect crop production. It is no surprise at all that most of our local financial institutions, especially banks shy away from agricultural credit.

Furthermore, there is a huge potential for agricultural development, sustained food production, food security and poverty reduction if Ghana could adopt an improved and integrated approach to the management of its water resources and ecosystems.

However, the out-gone Kufuor-led administration had chalked a number of successes since it took over the governance of this country in January 2001.

These include: the government completed the rehabilitation of nine existing irrigation schemes in 2006 at a total cost of GH¢6.5million under the Agricultural Sub-Sector Improvement Programme. In addition, an amount of $3million has been spent for the provision of pumps and sprinklers under the Exim Bank, India grant facility. These schemes are located at Bontanga in the, Kpando Torkor, Aveyime and Afife all in the Volta, Subinaja and Tanoso both in the Brong Ahafo, Sata and Akomadan in the Ashanti and Weija in the Greater Accra Regions.

The government is also rehabilitating a number of breached dams for 72 communities in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions at a total cost of GH¢12.5million.

While under the Small Scale Irrigation Development Project, the government is putting an area of 2,300 hectares under irrigation. This project will be completed in March next year and is estimated to cost $30.5million. Nine regions are to benefit from the project.

Additionally, under the Small Farms Irrigation Development Project, the government had spent an amount of $11.9 million to irrigate a total area of 820 hectares in the Ashanti, Brong Ahafo, Western and Volta Regions. This project had been completed in December, last year to augment irrigation facilities in the country.

The government is currently undertaking a feasibility study of the Accra Plains Irrigation Project which is expected to identify 200,000 hectares after which the ongoing zoning process will also identify 5,000 hectares as the priority area for irrigation development.

The project when completed will be used to cultivate crops such as banana, soyabean, rice, pineapple, mango, maize, groundnut and cowpea. This will help boost agricultural production and contribute to the satisfaction of growing domestic demand for food and raw materials for agro-based industries in the country.

Ghana’s parliament had recently approved an irrigation policy that seeks to provide strategies and appropriate regulatory framework for irrigation development and expansion in the country. The policy also seeks to make the operation and maintenance of irrigation schemes more participatory through the involvement of farmers in all aspects of management at all levels.








Web www.ghanadot.com

ADB to sell by the end of the year

September 13, Ghanadot - Information reaching Ghanadot offices in Accra indicate that the Agricultural Development Bank is definitely on sale with Government determined to quickly finish the sale as soon as possible.... .....More


Obama sworn in as first Black US President

Accra, Jan. 20, Ghanadot/GNA -Barack Hussein Obama, made history at exactly 1707 hours on Tuesday when he was sworn in as the first Black President of the United States (US).


BoG Boss Resigns

Accra, Jan 20, Ghanadot - The Governor of the Bank of Ghana, (BoG) Dr. Paul Acquah has decided to go on his leave accumulated over almost nine years.....More


Ghanaians and Phone Ethics, So Far, So Poor

Feature, Jan 20, Ghanadot - One of the famous channels by which effective and efficient communication can be made is through the use telephones.. The desire for family members to stay in touch with one another, for lovers to keep the flames burning, for friends to remain in contact and also for corporate and government organizations

  ABC, Australia
The EastAfrican, Kenya
African News Dimensions
Chicago Sun Times
The Economist
Reuters World
CNN.com - World News
All Africa Newswire
Google News
The Guardian, UK
Africa Daily
IRIN Africa
The UN News
Daily Telegraph, UK
Daily Nation, East Africa
BBC Africa News, UK
Legal Brief Africa
The Washington Post
Mail & Guardian, S. Africa
The Washington Times
Voice of America
New York Times
Vanguard, Nigeria
Christian Science Monitor
Yahoo/Agence France Presse
Ghanaian Papers
Market Place
Official Sites
Pan-African Page
Social Scene
    Currency Converter
Educational Opportunities
Job Opening

ThisWeekGhana.com becomes
October 1, 2006

Remember to spell the D-O-T
before the dot com

Send This Page To A Friend:

The Profile Africa Media Group