n African Renaissance - Strategies of poverty reduction in Africa : the case of irrigated agriculture in Ghana

Volume 5, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1744-2532
  • E-ISSN: 2516-5305


Many countries all over the world use irrigation agriculture as one of their key policy instruments in poverty reduction strategies due to, among others, worsening climatic conditions. Climate change has major impact on hydrological cycle and consequently on availability of water resources, drought, agricultural productivity, food security and poverty reduction strategies (Evans, 1996, FAO, 2007). Indicators on world food production show that for instance, the average cereal yields in developing countries are about 1.71 t ha-1 on rain-fed lands and 3.82 t ha-1 on irrigated lands (FAO, 2000, WRI, 2002). In Ghana, the average cereal crop yield is 1.4734 t ha-1 (World Bank, 2005; FAO, 2005). The annual increase of about 2 percent in the total food production in sub-Saharan Africa is less than the rate of population growth of 3 percent, which is a serious threat to food security (Breman and Debrah, 2003). Expanding human populations require a continuing expansion of food production (UNFPA, 2007; WFP, 2007; World Bank, 2007). However, most of the best quality farmland is already used for agriculture, which means that further area expansion would occur on marginal land that is unlikely to sustain high yields (Cassman, 1999; Young, 1999). For most countries, this implies great increases in irrigation agriculture, particularly for rice production.

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