It is being funded with a credit facility from the International Development Association (IDA), through the Ghana Commercial Agriculture Project (GCAP).
The work, which is expected to be completed in 18 months, has been awarded to Om Metals–SPML JV, a joint venture of Om Metals Infraprojects Limited of India.
The work involves redesigning and construction in a modernised way that would make it possible to control how much water is released to farmers, who are expected to pay for the service to ensure sustainability.
Scope of work
The civil works involves rehabilitation of existing lined canals and associated hydraulic structures, construction of new lined and unlined canals and associated hydraulic structures, land levelling and grading, upgrading and repair of earthen roads, clearing and widening of drains, construction of warehouses, packing sheds and drying floors and other ancillary structures.
The project also includes instrumentation and automation, which involves implementation of constant volume method of canal operation using SCADA and solar-powered automated gates.
Kpong Left Bank is part of four major irrigation schemes that government is working on to rehabilitate at the cost of $112 million.
3 More major irrigation schemes to be rehabilitated
The remaining three major irrigation schemes yet to be awarded are Kpong in the Greater Accra Region, and the Tono and Vea in the Upper East Region.
6 Small irrigation schemes to be rehabilitated
In addition, government also plans to rehabilitate six smaller irrigation schemes in the country, estimated to cost $5 million.
They are Sankana in the Upper West Region; Tanoso in the Brong Ahafo Region; Kpando Torkor in the Volta Region; Amate in the Eastern Region; and Libga and Golinga in the Northern Region.
Experts believe that farmers who will use the scheme can farm three times a year, to rake in more income, because of multiple productions if they follow best agronomic practices.
Rice production to increase
Apart from the creation of jobs for thousands of people, the project would also help the country cut down its rice import bill, currently pegged at $600 million a year.
55 Irrigation schemes across Ghana
There are about 55 irrigation schemes spread across the country, with 22 of them being public schemes managed by Ghana Irrigation Development Authority (GIDA).
The passage of the Irrigation Development Authority (Irrigation Water Users Association) Regulation, 2016 (L.I. 2230) made it obligatory for the formation of water users associations to safeguard and sustain the various schemes.
Ultimately, there will be a national federation of water users associations to help them manage the process well and co-ordinate the work of the various associations.