The Reticulation Irrigation Scheme at Sankana, Upper West Region, Ghana: Current Usage, Productivity and Incomes
In 1961, the Ghana Government constructed a reticulation irrigation scheme at Sankana in the then Upper Region (now Upper West Region) with a potential irrigation area of 120 hectares, a 750 m wall length and a 25 m spillway weight to boost arable farming and inland fishing. A little over 50 years on, the present case study assesses usage, productivity and incomes resulting from the irrigation project. In June 2014, farmers’ patronage of the irrigation water was investigated through the use of an interview guide, a questionnaire, a group discussion guide supported by key informant interviews with officials of relevant state institutions, transect walks and personal observation. At present, only 73 farmers depend on the stored water for irrigation of crops; 55 farmers were available for questioning; and there were nineteen fish farmers. For a farming season, the majority of farmers (58%) earn incomes between GH¢150.00 and 300.00, and on the scale of stable, moderate and unstable, 67% of farmers consider incomes to be moderately reliable. Moreover, less than 50% of the farmers utilizing the irrigation project are food secure. Also, 35% of participating farmers are involved in fishing and farming at the same time benefitting from the dual objective of the project. The study concludes that the reticulation irrigation scheme at Sankana is underutilized.
Keywords: Reticulation, irrigation, usage, productivity, income, Sankana