UDS Pro VC proposes establishment of Irrigation Development Fund

UDS Pro VC proposes establishment of Irrigation Development Fund

Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University for Development Studies (UDS), Engineer Professor Felix Kofi Abagale, has made a proposal for the creation of a Ghana Irrigation Development Fund (GIDFund).

Creating the Fund, he said, will help the Ghana Irrigation Development Authority and Ministry of Food and Agriculture access the funds to provide state-of-the-art equipment to construct or rehabilitate schemes, in order to address perennial challenges encountered in the agricultural sector and ensure year-round food production in the country.

Speaking during a lecture organised by the UDS at its Tamale campus on the theme ‘Damming the River for Sustainable Livelihoods: Challenges and Emerging Opportunities in the Global South’, Ing. Prof. Abagale said the move will be key in ensuring the country’s food security.

Ing. Prof. Abagale cited human activity as the primary cause of environmental degradation, which puts food production at risk.

“As a result of human activity, there is a high level of degradation in the river basins, deterioration of the environment from cutting down trees, burning bush and adopting farming practices which are not suitable for the ecosystem,” he said at the event, which was attended by stakeholders from academia, government agencies, traditional authorities, staff of UDS as well as a host of his family and friends.

He added that this is despite government spending a lot of money in setting up or rehabilitating irrigation infrastructure.

Moreover, he noted, it has been observed that siltation – the carrying of materials into reservoirs – is rampant in this part of the world; adding that there is a need to protect the environment in order to reduce the rate at which siltation takes place.

Prof. Abagale warned that if the environment is not protected, the Pwalugu Multipurpose Dam will not yield the expected benefits.

On his part, Vice-Chancellor of UDS, Prof. Gabriel Ayum Teye who chaired the function, commended the Pro-VC for the lecture and also his efforts at helping to identify the challenges within the agricultural sector as well as proffering measures for adoption to enhance food production in the country.

Ing. Prof. Abagale is a Professor of Soil and Water Engineering, and also the Director for the West African Centre for Water, Irrigation and Sustainable Agriculture (WACWISA).

The focus of this lecture was to identify current challenges in the management of river systems and parent buffer zones, as well as reservoirs and other irrigation infrastructure.

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