Irrigation development and management in Ghana: Prospects and challenges
Agriculture plays a vital role in the national economy but it is predominantly dependent on natural rainfall. Irrigated agriculture on a fairly limited scale is a recent phenomenon and was necessitated largely by the seasonality and unreliability of natural rainfall. The development and management of irrigation, however, has been characterised by difficulties notably weak database, excessive cost, environmental problems and extreme pessimism in some quarters since rainfed agriculture is seen as potentially able to support the present population. Irrigation capacity utilisation on existing schemes is very low and reasons for this situation are put forward, as well as the broad policy objectives needed to promote irrigation development and management. Water management is seen as a serious drawback on existing schemes. It is envisaged that irrigation will be seen in its right perspective as a multidisciplinary activity to ensure the success of schemes. There is the need for running a postgraduate programme in irrigation at the KNUST to enhance the nations efforts at developing and managing irrigation projects successfully.