Northern Farmers Adopt Solar-Powered Irrigation System | Social

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Most smallholder vegetable growers in three of the northern regions have agreed to adopt the solar-powered irrigation system in their quest to ensure year-round vegetable production in their regions.
Farmers grow their crops in the Upper West, Savannah, and Northeast regions.

They agreed to adopt the solar-powered irrigation system during a workshop organized by the Market-Oriented Agriculture Program in North-West Ghana (MOAP-NW), for vegetable growers, aimed at to share ideas on how best to promote good agronomic practices in North West Ghana. region.

The workshop was also to introduce farmers to solar technologies to replace their expensive oil-powered generators.

Collaborating partners in the drive to move farmers to solar irrigation are the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) and Pumptech, an irrigation equipment distribution company.

Most market gardeners had hitherto used oil irrigation systems, which proved too expensive to maintain and allowed them to practice market gardening all year round since there was only one rainy season. rains.

The MOAP-NW program, implemented by GIZ with funding from the European Union and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, decided to subsidize the cost of solar technologies by 50% for women and 40% for their male counterparts. .

The program, which is implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, aims to increase the productivity of smallholder vegetable producers, improve their livelihoods and generate economic opportunity and growth. .

The Solar Irrigation Equipment Collaboration was concluded between IWMI, Pumptech and MOAP-NW in 2021, to drive demand-supply linkages to catalyze the scaling up of technologies and irrigation services, especially solar-powered irrigation technology.

Supply and access to irrigation equipment is led by IWMI and Pumptech, who have undertaken research into how beneficiaries can obtain information and exploit available water bodies, including wells and rivers for vegetable growing all year round.

Irrigation

A research technician from IWMI, Desire Naab, who spoke about the importance of irrigation water for crops, said that since 2013 they have been working on how to develop irrigation technologies and solutions. water management in the northern part of the country.

He said these technologies and practices have been validated to increase agricultural productivity under irrigated conditions.

As a result, he said IWMI is partnering with Pumptech, an irrigation equipment distribution company, to introduce best agricultural practices to smallholder farmers to improve their businesses.

He said that through the partnership with Pumptech and MOAP-NW, IWMI decided to pilot solar-powered irrigation equipment in the Upper West region.

A Pumptech official, Moses Tampoe, said he was happy that farmers had decided to adopt solar-powered pumping technologies, which, although requiring heavy investment, had a longer lifespan and were cheaper to maintain because the sun was readily available. .

Mr. Tampoe said it would resurrect the agricultural sector to improve the economy, adding that they would install and maintain the solar machines as well as build the capacity of farmers on how to use them.

A vegetable farmer, Regina Misah, expressed the enthusiasm of smallholder farmers that the project would provide them with an opportunity to improve their livelihoods.

Source: graphiconline.com

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