Strength Properties of Locally Constructed Rice Bunds in the Adansi North District of Ghana

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The rice industry in Ghana faces challenges of low productivity, low yield and poor grain quality, resulting in overwhelming import dependence. Rice can be cultivated all year round with bund and irrigation. Also, land originally not suitable for rice cultivation can be used when bund is considered. Successive Governments over the years launch series of flagship programs which are aimed at reducing rice imports, poverty alleviation and employment creation which many have failed. Though bunds are widely used in many countries and other parts of Ghana, the system is relatively new in the Adansi North District of the Ashanti region of Ghana. The purpose of this study is to examine the durability and soil strength properties of rice bund constructed by local farmers. Three farmer’s fields KB, FB and PB were studied to ascertain their strength properties and their durability. Four bunds were constructed on a research plot labeled RB1, RB2, RB3 and RB4. RB1 and RB4 where compacted while RB2 and RB3 where uncompacted. Laboratory test indicates that soils of RB1, RB2 and KB where classified as clay of intermediate plasticity which proved stronger than RB3, RB4, FB and PB which were clay of low plasticity. After 40 days of bund measurements, farmer field bunds reduced in height between 36 to 42 %. Research field measured that uncompacted bunds reduced in height by 34 and 40 % while compacted bunds reduced by 6 % or less. Bund compaction increases operational cost and reduces profit in the first season however, increases profit drastically in the second season. It is therefore concluded that uncompacted bunds erode faster than compacted bunds, compaction increases soil strength and bund strength is determined by soil type and level of compaction.
A project report submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi In partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of MASTER OF PHILOSOPHY (MPhil), SOIL AND WATER ENGINEERING Faculty of Mechanical and Chemical Engineering College of Engineering