Programme  Poster session 3  abstract 905

Climate change and small scale irrigation in northern Ghana

Author(s): Farmers’ perception of constraints and solutions
Author(s): Patricia Adiam, Victor Afari-Sefa, Bruno Barbier
Patrica Adam, doctoral fellow at ZEF, University of Bonn, Germany Patricia Adiam (ZEF), Victor Afari-Sefa (ZEF), Bruno Barbier (CIRAD)

Keyword(s): irrigation, risk, climate variability, climate change

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Session: Poster session 3
AbstractClimate has changed dramatically in West Africa as drought hit hard farming systems in the

seventies and eighties. To cope with the drought the Ghanaian government has invested in small irrigation schemes

that have contributed significantly to poverty alleviation. The question remains whether irrigation does reduce

agricultural risk. A survey was realised in 20 communities of northern Ghana through focus groups. The main

constraints of irrigation were identified and farmers’ perception of climate variability and change were monitored.

Irrigation was perceived as a positive solution to increase production but is not necessarily a proper risk coping

strategy. In case of extreme events crop failure can be worse than under rainfed conditions. In case of extreme

drought reservoirs cannot deliver the water for dry season production. Excessive rainfall, destroy schemes, lowland

production and often dams themselves. We explore farmers’ perception of crop insurances and weather forecast as

cheaper alternatives.

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