Project Profile

Flood recession agriculture for food security in Northern Ghana

Duration : October 30, 2014 - September 30, 2015
(Extended to September 30, 2016)

Since the food crisis of 2008 and with increased frequency of extreme weather events (e.g. floods and droughts), there is a renewed interest in food security in many vulnerable regions of the developing world, including Northern Ghana. In this context, it is essential to investigate alternative options to rainfed agriculture in order to increase food production. In areas dominated by flood-prone shallow lands, flood recession agriculture can potentially be an effective solution to meet the food requirements of the rural population and increase their incomes. While the frequency of flooding events seems to increase with devastating consequences, it is possible to take advantage of floods and increase the yearly overall agricultural production by growing crops once the flood water recedes. In fact, floods bring fertile nutrients and increase residual soil moisture making lowlands favorable to productive farming activities for several staple crops such as rice, maize, sorghum, soybean, potatoes and melons. In order to get increased benefits from flood recession farming, it is important to understand the influence of hydrological patterns on agricultural productivity and assess more accurately the potential of flood recession farming, including its economic potential. The overall aim of this study is to promote sustainable intensification of flood recession agriculture in Northern Ghana in order to improve food security and reduce poverty. Field level investigation will be conducted to assess the extent and productivity of existing (if any) flood recession agriculture in Northern Ghana and measures to improve it. Additionally, the study will identify soil and water management practices and crop types that could be adapted to the hydrological features of flooded areas where flood recession agriculture is not currently practised and the economic conditions that will make flood recession agriculture viable and profitable in these areas. It will provide recommendations on policy measures that will be needed to incentive flood recession agriculture in Northern Ghana.

Location(s): Ghana
Project Contact: Williams, Timothy
Donor(s): USAID through IFPRI,CORE