Land tenure and water sources for urban vegetable farmers in Asante-Mampong, Ghana
This study (PDF) in the Indian Journal of Science and Technology looks at existing vegetable farmlands use arrangement, irrigation water sources, awareness of wastewater irrigation and willingness of its practice in Asante-Mampong, one of the urban vegetable production centres in Ghana. Vegetable farming as part of (peri-)urban agriculture plays a significant role in urban societies. However, critical challenges exist and include issues of availability of land and water sources. Results show that most farmland sizes are not large enough and land ownership among farmers is very low as anticipated with urban farmlands. Most farmlands are used freely, but a good number are rented at expensive cash fees. Farmers feel insecure with the existing land tenure arrangements. The main water sources are rainfall and rain-dependent sources (rivers/streams), which could be liable to failure, especially in dry seasons. Farmers have limited awareness of wastewater irrigation with high unwillingness to practice it because of public health concerns about it. Farmers could not be making good gains, although the farms are sources of livelihoods for many. Recommendations are: 1) an exploratory study on financial viability of vegetable farms for maximum use of farmlands; 2) farmers should be educated on the benefits of exploring wastewater reuse as unavoidable alternative water source in the midst of water stress driven by climate change; and 3) issues regarding land tenure insecurity should be resolved before encouraging investments in on-farm wastewater treatment facility for irrigation.