The welfare-enhancing role of irrigation in farm households in northern Ghana
MetadataShow full item record
Owusu, Eric S.; Namara, Regassa E.; Kuwornu, J. K. M. 2011. The welfare-enhancing role of irrigation in farm households in northern Ghana. Journal of International Diversity, 2011(1):61-87.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/40453
One key poverty reduction strategy in developing countries has been the investment in agricultural water management. There are research-established linkages between irrigation water use and household welfare improvements in some developing countries. In Ghana, irrigation development for livelihood support, which dates back to the 1960s manifested in the construction of formal irrigation infrastructure, starting with the rural savannah and coastal regions. However, to date agriculture is still predominantly rainfed, small-holder and subsistence oriented. It is believed that irrigation potential for poverty reduction is yet to be achieved within the Food and Agricultural Sector Development Programme, as general poverty incidence (60.1%) is still high, particularly in the rural savannah regions of Northern Ghana. Little is however known about the poverty-reducing role of already provided infrastructure against the backdrop of rising quest for more irrigation investments. The extent of irrigation's welfare-enhancing impact is worth knowing for policy makers. Using the methods of propensity score matching (PSM) and switching regression, it is ascertained that improved access to irrigation in the rural savannah region of Ghana significantly improves household welfare via increase in net farm income, and there is more room for enhanced impacts. Pro-poor irrigation investment in this region significantly reinforces both regional and national poverty reduction drives, and is thus justified.