n African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development - Small-scale rice irrigation technology in southern Ghana : the challenges for sustainable uptake

Volume 7, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 2042-1338
  • E-ISSN: 2042-1346
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Promotion of small-scale irrigation in rain-fed rice lowlands is reckoned a key strategy for filling the escalating gap between rice supply and demand in sub-Saharan Africa. Though studies acknowledged the farmer-centred nature of small-scale rice irrigation technology, along with its effects on yield improvement and soil and water conservation, empirical diagnosis for the sustainable uptake remains lagging. This paper illustrates the sustainability and its mechanism from a case study of inland valley irrigation schemes in southern Ghana. Based on a time-series statistics of the scheme participation, we found the sustainability continued low in the study sites. The factor analyses indicated that securing land tenure, mechanisation, and collective action, which were considered beneficial to rice irrigation farming, contributed little to its sustainment, whereas field management individualised by plot allocation facilitated it. The results, at odds with the prevailing assumptions, are attributed to the gap with farmers' scopes and behavioural characteristics observed during field survey. Further analyses revealed that they tend to have continued rice irrigation farming with selective crop and water management. Development efforts are thus required to devising its approach built more on local adaptive strategies from which a lead may be derived for sustainable application of small-scale rice irrigation technology.

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