Towards increased food crop production in Ghana through effective irrigation policy; (a case study of the Anum Vally Irrigation Project Nobewem)

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The ability of irrigation schemes to increase yield per hectare, reduce the risk assignable to the weather as well as hold the lid on migration and thus contributing to social stability makes them endear themselves to agriculturalists, planners and politicians Irrigation development and practice in Ghana since independence has been guided by policies issued under various governments. These policies have been predicated on the philosophy of high-tech designs and elaborate administrative structures managed by government bureaucracies. The schemes were therefore characterised by high capital and operating costs and inefficient management so the promised banquet to the farmer and the country as a whole turned out to be a picnic. In order to correct these bottlenecks a new policy framework was issued by Government which emphasised on the development of small scale farmer-managed irrigation schemes. A case study of the Anum Valley Irrigation Project, which is one of the projects established under the new policy, revealed that output per hectare is quite higher (i.e. average of 3.6 tonnes per hectare paddy rice) compared with 2.0 tonnes per hectare paddy rice on the large scale schemes at their best. However, problems concerned with efficient management, weak database, lack of local expertise in irrigation development as well as sheer neglect of the socioeconomic issues involved in irrigation development were identified as some weakness in the current irrigation policy framework which are hindering the effective development of the project. Recommendations for policy intervention to deal with the problems are suggested.
A thesis submitted to the Board of Postgraduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the award of the Degree of Master of Science in National Development Policy and Planning, 1997