Build more irrigation facilities and take Ghana off rain-fed agriculture – Bantamahene charges gov’t

The chief of Kumasi Bantama, Baffour Owusu Amankwatia IV, has called on government to stop risking Ghana’s food security by leaving farmers reliant on rain-fed agriculture, and build more irrigation facilities across the country.

Ghana has been relying on rainfall for its agricultural activities for centuries, and this approach has not been helpful to the country’s food production. With the impact of climate change causing rains to fall less, the chief says government needs to step up its support for farmers. An estimated 95% of farmers in Ghana are said to be dependent on rainfall for their agricultural production, as only 5% of farms are irrigated.

Speaking at the 2022 annual general meeting of the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana, the Bantamahene warned the weather patterns will get no better with passing time.

“We are experiencing global warming, and it would be appropriate for the government to step up its obligation in ensuring that we produce food all year round without any flimsy excuses,” he noted.

Citing China and Israel as case studies, he said it is feasible to make majority of farms in the country irrigated ones. “We can’t continue to rely on a rain fed agriculture system in this current generation and technological age,” he said.

Baffour Owusu Amankwatia IV also urged the government to expand the support and use of organic fertiliser in the country to help cut down on the use of inorganic or synthetic fertilisers. He also called for more investment in agro-processing, noting it can turn around the fortunes of the country.

He also called on the Ministry of Finance to provide the needed funding for the construction of agro-processing industries in the country because donor partners in the developed world will not do this for Ghana. The Bantamahene charged the government to pay particular attention to the plight of peasant farmers in the country, describing them as key contributors to the Gross Domestic Product of the nation.

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