Government is making moves to have irrigation systems in the country rehabilitated to supplement rain-fed seasons.
This is to stimulate continuous farming and increase crop production throughout the year, E. Asante-Krobea-Director of Crop Services, Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), has said.
“There are several irrigation schemes across the country, and each requires a different form of support. Government is therefore expanding some of them, while others are being rehabilitated to boost the production of crops like rice and maize during off-rain seasons,” he told Business and Financial Times in an interview.
The move, when effectively executed as planned, will be refreshing as many irrigation sites are underutilised. Classic examples are irrigation sites at Tanoso, Kaniago and Kogoago in the Brong Ahafo Region. Farmers who use the Tanoso and Kaniago sites mostly rely on the rain because they are unable to foot the cost of electricity and fuel to power pumping machines there.
On the other hand, the Kogoago site in the Techiman North district has virtually been left fallow as the laid pipes have all been stolen. But Mr. Asante-Krobea revealed that the Kogoago site as well as Dorwenya site in Greater Accra Region and others in the Northern Region are expected to be revamped as soon as practicable.
He further stated that government is also working around the clock to increase the use of greenhouse technology as a means of attracting more youth to diversify the aging agricultural workforce. “The youth want to experiment on things that are more technology oriented, and we think when greenhouses catch on more will be enticed to join the fold of agriculture.”
To this end, he said, in 2015 government purchased about 100 pieces of the facility which were distributed across the country. This year, the ministry will continue with that project, as the quantity of greenhouse facilities will be scaled-up to support more interested youth. It is a good technology, and if the country is able to make any headway it will impact on agricultural production, he added.