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An Economic Analysis: The Scale-up of Irrigation Systems in Ghana, West Africa

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  2021 ASABE Annual International Virtual Meeting  2100009.(doi:10.13031/aim.202100009)
Authors:   Grace L. Baldwin, Robert M. Stwalley, III
Keywords:   Africa, biophysical, commercial, conventional irrigation, economic analysis, emerging, equipment, formal, Ghana, groundwater, informal, international development, irrigation, large-scale, sector, scale-up, smallholder farmer, sub-Saharan, surface water

Abstract. FAO reports an estimated 1.9 million ha total of potential irrigatable lands in Ghana. The total water-managed area in the country is estimated to be approximately 30,900 ha in 2000, of which 90% were actually irrigated, while 22 formal irrigation schemes were only 65% irrigated. The government intends to add a total irrigatable area of 500,000 ha or more, thereby increasing the total coverage from 1.7% to 28.1% . Ghana is not agriculturally independent and seeks to make substantial efforts in the scale-up of irrigation technologies to decrease the country‘s importation of agricultural goods. A review of the current literature of the irrigation sector was conducted and an analysis of the irrigation market chain carried-out. The country‘s total water withdrawal as a percentage of total renewable water resources is 1.8%, and of this tiny amount, 66.4% of this is withdrawn for the purpose of irrigation “Estimates of Ghana‘s irrigation potential, including valley bottoms and floodplains, range between 0.36 to 2.9 Mha (IWMI; Namara, Horowitz, & Kovalli et al., 2012).” If well-managed, the country‘s surface water and largely untapped groundwater systems are sufficient to meet most domestic and irrigation purposes. Constraints hindering the scale-up of irrigation systems and opportunities within the value chain identified. These analyses carried-out will provide significant help to both government, non-governmental organizations, and aid-agencies working to improve agricultural productivity throughout the country via the scaleup of irrigation systems.

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