Small Scale Irrigation in Ghana: Challenges and Prospects in the Face of Climate Variability
Smallholder or informal or small scale irrigation is one of the three broad categories into which irrigation is put in Ghana. Faced with climate change and variability resulting in extreme events, irrigation serves as insurance against crop failure and permits all-year-round production. The study was carried out to underscore the challenges and prospects of small scale irrigation in the face of climate variability in Ghana and to propose the way forward. The key source of data for this study was secondary data which were collected mainly by reviewing published reports, policy documents, articles, online sources and official web sites of relevant state and international institutions. A number of challenges confront small scale irrigation development including high cost of energy, encroachment on irrigation lands, illegal mining activities and lack of technological know-how among others. Small scale irrigation has a promising future owing to renewed collaborative spirit GIDA has with major stakeholders. To forestall encroachment on irrigation lands, we recommend amendment of Irrigation Development Authority Act to empower GIDA to exercise absolute control over irrigation lands. It is also recommended that the Authority collaborates with relevant stakeholders to develop effective programmes for building capacity of contractors involved in development of irrigation infrastructure. To overcome the challenge of high cost of energy, it is recommended that government makes long-term investment into conversion of electric and diesel/petrol powered irrigation pumps to solar powered ones.