Government urged to invest in irrigation schemes

A study on the impacts of climate variability (CV) has urged governments and development partners to invest more in irrigation schemes.

It said the irrigation schemes would not only be used to harvest excess rain water during floods but act as reservoirs during drought to reduce household vulnerability in food availability and security.

A Research Scientist at the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)-STEPRI, Ms Mavis Akuffobea, who presented the report at a dialogue in Accra on “Gender Equity/Inequity and Responsiveness to Climate Smart Agriculture,” said the study indicated that climate variability impacts affect almost everyone in the research communities but there were gender variations.

The study was conducted in rural communities in Agogo, Asante Akim North District of Ghana.

She said less than half of the households interviewed did not have climate change adaptation strategy, while at the community level adaptation towards climate variability was generally low.

Some of the adaptation strategies identified included increased land size, change in crop variety, crop type and planting days, tree planting on farms, soil and others.

Ms Akuffobea said the CC adapted strategies practised by both males and females in the households were below 50 per cent.

The findings recommended that government policy addressing climate change (CC) in the agriculture sector should identify and implement options for each unique climate distress event that will reduce variability of the different gender groupings.

“CV has affected everybody in the community, yet gender differences exist. There is the need for gender livelihoods strategies to address issues of CC,” she said.

The dialogue was under the auspices of the Sustainable Agriculture Intensification Research and Learning Africa (SAIRLA) Ghana National Learning Alliance (GH-NLA), working with relevant stakeholders to identify the different policies and mechanisms that could provide smallholder farmers, including women and young people, better access to resources and information relating to Sustainable Agriculture Intensification (SAI).

Ms Akuffobea stated the need to have policy and investment decisions to promote and facilitate increased adaptation towards CV at both the household and community levels.

She called on Government, private sector and the development actors, to invest in appropriate irrigation, water harvesting and reservoir scheme that can help to mitigate the effect of drought for the benefit of poor smallholder farmers.

Source: GNA

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