Irrigation is a priority development agenda item in Ghana and other countries in sub-Saharan Africa. There is a genuine endeavor to increase public and large-scale private investment in the sector. The on-going smallholder-driven private irrigation development that is largely based on water lifting technologies is not yet fully appreciated. We propose that smallholders themselves can play a significant role in achieving national irrigation development plans, provided they have access to water lifting technologies, especially small motorized pumps. We analyze adoption patterns and constraints pertaining to water lifting technologies in Ghana and suggest interventions that would enhance wider dissemination. Currently, these technologies are largely accessible only to better-off farmers. The primary factors inhibiting wider application are poorly developed supply chains, lack of access to finance, high operational and maintenance costs, high output price risks, and lack of institutional support. To realize the potential of water lifting technologies, improvements are required in the entire value chain of lift irrigation systems.
- poverty reduction