Ghana’s irrigation sector, seen as one of the most reliable ways of growing food all-year round, is set to receive a major boost following an announcement by Interplast Ghana, a local producer of PVC pipes, that it will from next year January, begin production of irrigation water drip systems.
Given that farming in the cocoa-rich country is largely rain-fed, and with most farmers unable to afford imported irrigation situations, the move is expected to not only to ensure all-year farming but contribute to making food prices stable and lower, particularly during the dry season.
“Interplast has started a new Irrigation Service Department and we will be providing not only the materials but services such as site measurement, design services, installation, after sales servicing and training.
So we are expanding our factory to manufacture the irrigation drip systems locally and we hope that early January or within the first quarter of next year, we can start producing. We want to make to make it very affordable so that all farmers can have access,” said Haider Malhas, Irrigation Services Manager at Interplast.
Mr Malhas was speaking at a press briefing ahead of this year’s Pre-harvest Agribusiness Event, to be held next week Thursday, 19 October 2017 in Tamale in the Northern Region.
He explained that over the last two years, the company has been importing irrigation solutions and working with farmers on how to ensure optimal usage, but now plans to start producing it locally.
“Currently, these products are brought into the country and the clearing and other import duties make it very expensive for the average farmer to purchase. In the last two years, we started going to the irrigation sector. We have been importing the irrigation products all this while and working with farmers and suppliers.
Interplast has been in the water pipes business for quite some time now, so we saw the need to come out with a home-grown solution for our farmers because, as we all know, especially in the northern parts, farming only takes place during the raining season,” he added.
In order to enable more farmers to benefit from the mechanized systems, he advised them to form groups, which will enable them to split the cost involve in acquiring such systems.
“What we have realised is that most of the farmers, especially with those up north, is that it will be easier for these farmers to access these solutions if they are in groups because a cost that will be incurred by one person will be split among them. For instance, a pump can serve up to 10 farmers, so those are some of the things we are looking at with this drip system,” he added.