The Effects of Rainfall Patterns on Food Crop Production according to Mr. Obed Kofi Tuabu, a Ph.D. candidate at the University for Development Studies (UDS) Tamale’s Faculty of Agriculture, School of Engineering, said that recent crop failures are due to uncertainties in rainfall levels and distribution.
Furthermore, due to bush burning, the soils of Northern Ghana are primarily devoid of organic matter, and fertility levels are generally low, but moderate, with certain communities showing higher levels than others.
Mr. Tuabu made the remarks during a Sawla-Tuna-Kalba District workshop on demand and supply linkages solar pumping for irrigation value chain operators.
The GIZ hosted a forum for 62 farmers in the Savannah Region to share irrigation knowledge, and new insights on irrigation technologies, products, and services, and to develop a plan to establish and facilitate demand-supply linkages for solar-powered irrigation technologies and services, among other things.
He talked about “Irrigation and soil management for vegetable farming in the Savannah Region” and advised farmers to work on improving soil structure to promote nutrient uptake in the soil and improve water holding capacity to restore soil health and increase farm profitability.
Mr. Tuabu stated that the Savannah Region was endowed with water sources from the Black and White Volta Rivers, as well as their tributaries, which could be utilized for irrigation, and urged farmers to embrace the project because irrigation gave chances to mitigate crop failure risks.
Permanent access to cultivated land, as well as access to surface water supplies, are issues for farmers, according to Mr. Desire Naab Dickson, a Research Technician at the International Water Management Institute.
Uncertain access to cultivated land, farm destruction from animals, particularly Fulani herders invasion, annual floods, and illegal gold mining, he claimed, all limit irrigated agricultural interest.
“Investment in solar-based irrigation was hampered by inappropriate irrigation methods and application, limited extension services on solar-based irrigation systems, and inadequate information about solar technology for irrigation,” he said.
Mr. Dickson urged the district assembly to cooperate closely with farmers to secure permanent land and water for solar energy irrigation farming, which would increase crop and vegetable production.
“Limited access to agricultural inputs and services, including government support and subsidies, as well as uncoordinated value chain development interventions by the government, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector, resulting in duplication, were challenges impeding investment in solar-based irrigation systems,” he said.
Poor market bargaining strength, a lack of collective marketing heritage, and low vegetable production limit market power, according to Mr. Dickson.
He said that much emphasis had been paid to technology-dominated supply while social and managerial innovation that addressed other social and economic variables had been overlooked.
Major challenges affecting the system included a lack of innovation and service packages that could be tailored to different types of customers and their conditions, a lack of comprehensive interventions addressing value chain dynamics, and a lack of rural distribution networks for solar pumps and accessories.