Contribution of dry season farming to the alleviation of poverty among small scale farmers in the Upper West Region of Ghana

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In the Upper West Region of Ghana, most the people are engaged in subsistence agriculture. A major challenge that they face is a long dry season of about eight months that renders most of them jobless. This research assessed the possibility of dry season farming in improving living standards of rural farmers. The research revealed that most farmers used dams with canals and furrows, others used canals with fuel powered pumps and some used wells for irrigating their crops. An average dry season farmer earns more than GHC2000 a month, which is more than enough to lift him out of abject poverty. Farmers can provide the basic needs of their families and still address other secondary needs. The potential of dry season farming to reduce poverty would have been greater if there were measures in place to mitigate the challenges of the average farmer. Some of these challenges include: inability to acquire farm inputs like fertilizer and agro- chemicals; high disease infestation; animals grazing on their crops; and no extension support. In solving these problems, more officers should be posted to the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and the Ghana Irrigation Development Authority and provided with the necessary logistics to help the farmers meet their farming needs. Social enterprises and individuals can create business opportunities by providing credit facilities to farmers, helping them with savings, offering extension services, facilitation of market for their produce and providing sizeable irrigation schemes for farmers in smaller communities.
Thesis submitted to the Department of Business Administration, Ashesi University College, in partial fulfillment of Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, April 2017.
irrigation, dry season farming, Upper West Region, poverty alleviation, Ghana