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Overview Background Solutions Documents
With plentiful natural resources, agriculture accounts for more than a third of GDP and employs more than half the workforce in Ghana. Most farmers are small landholders who produce 80% of the country's agricultural output. Ghana is endowed with significant land and water resources but even so around two thirds of the potential agricultural land is not cultivated and groundwater abstraction amounts to only 5% of the annual recharge. There is considerable potential to increase irrigation and the informal sector is rapidly expanding and making use of a variety of water resources and technologies.

AgWater Solutions researchers have been working in Ghana for three years. They initially reviewed existing agricultural water management (AWM) practises and their geographical context using field observations, secondary data sources, household interviews and discussions with key organisations. The project's research has revealed that there are numerous AWM technologies and methods in use in Ghana. These include:

Shallow groundwater irrigation – seasonal and permanent shallow wells, shallow tube wells, pilot community bore wells.
    River/stream lift systems.
    Private, small reservoirs and dugouts.
    Ground water use (e.g., wells and boreholes).
    Conventional irrigation systems including run of river diversion schemes and gravity fed systems.
Madhya Pradesh
West Bengal
Based on the initial review and advice from a range of stakeholders in Ghana, the project team subsequently carried out more in-depth research on a selection of these solutions. Meetings and workshops were held as part of the dialogue process and the results can be found on the Solutions page for Ghana.
Project Activities
Inception and Midterm Workshops
An inception workshop for the entire project was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in May 2009. The project plan was discussed and work plan details were agreed for all countries. In January 2010, a midterm project workshop was held in Lusaka, Zambia, which was attended by representatives from each country where the project is being undertaken. The participants reviewed progress, adapted work plans, and further detailed outputs and outreach plans for all countries.
Brainstorming Workshop
A one day brainstorming workshop involving professionals from Ghana Irrigation Development Authority (GIDA), University for Development Studies (UDS), the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) was held in December 2008. This was used to inform the Situation Analysis of AWM technologies in Ghana (see below).
Situation Analysis of AWM Technologies in Ghana
A Situation Analysis of AWM technologies in Ghana was conducted by IWMI, IFPRI, GIDA, UDS and KNUST in 2009. The purpose of the analysis was to provide background material on and analysis of:
Existing environmental, hydrological and climatic conditions.
    National institutional and policy frameworks related to AWM.
    Typologies of existing AWM practices and their geographic spread.
    Key actors who are supporting the development of AWM in each region.
    Promising AWM solutions that merit further detailed study.
The Situation Analysis involved three steps:
Brainstorming, literature reviews and analysis of secondary data.
    Development of typologies of irrigation systems to provide an objective approach to stratifying irrigation systems according to their common physical, management and social characteristics.
    Primary data collection through reconnaissance, key informant surveys, field observations and farmer interviews (individually and in groups).
The Situation Analysis was carried out by a multidisciplinary team including an agronomist, an irrigation engineer and an agricultural economist. The research teams were assisted by agricultural extension agents from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA). A report has been prepared and a summary is available as a briefing note on the project website.
National Consultation Workshop
The National Consultation Workshop was held on August 31, 2009, in Accra, Ghana. It was facilitated by IWMI, GIDA and IFPRI and attended by some 30 participants from various organizations. The Workshop was an opportunity for stakeholders to share their opinions on AWM solutions that would be appropriate for Ghana and could be out-scaled. The participants prioritized water-lifting technologies; small reservoirs and dugouts; innovative institutional mechanisms such as "out-grower" schemes for smallholders and public-private partnerships; groundwater use for agriculture; and low land/inland valleys. The minutes of the workshop were circulated to the participants and a summary can be found as a briefing note on the project website.
Stakeholder Engagement Activities
The Second Ghana Forum was held in October 2010. Members of the project team made presentations based on the results of the AgWater Solutions Project.

Team members will also presented project findings at the West Africa Irrigation Workshop to be held from December 1-2, 2010.