The prevalence of climatic events, such as drought and floods in northern Ghana has contributed significantly to food shortages in the area. This prompted the need for appropriate alternatives to enhance food production and improve rural livelihoods. The PAVE Irrigation Technology (PIT) is rainwater harvesting technology being promoted by Conservation Alliance (CA), International Fertilizer Development Centre (IFDC) and International Water Management Institute (IWMI) in Northern Ghana to serve as source of irrigation water for dry season farming. The question is: as a new technology is it financially viable for vegetable production and what factors inform its investment and adoption decisions.
The study is theoretically founded on the utility theory, with the assumption that smallholder vegetable farmers seek to maximise their farm incomes. Data was collected randomly from 380 smallholder vegetable farmers in three communities in the Northern and Upper East Regions where the technology was installed. The Net Presents Values (NPV) and Benefit Cost Ratios (BCRs) from the three communities were estimated for the PITs financial viability in vegetable production. A Probit model was employed to analyse the factors that influences the adoption of the technology. Willingness to pay amount and the factors influencing the willingness to pay (WTP) amount were analysed using an interval regression model.
The cost-benefit analysis revealed that vegetable production under the PAVE Irrigation Technology is financially viable. It was found that majority (88.4%) of respondents in the study area were willing to adopt the PAVE Irrigation Technology (PIT) and their willingness to adopt were influenced by age, formal education, access to extension, technology awareness, perceived reliability of the technology, gender consideration in management, training, perceived user friendliness and. The mean willingness to pay (WTP) value was found to be GHC 103.554($23.82)/0.3acres/ dry season which is higher than the proposed service fee of GHC 90($20.70)/farmer/season. It was found that, formal education, household size and other income sources, respondent experience of food shortage and mode of payment may have significant effects on the WTP amount. Also, financial constraints and market inaccessibility were found to be most pressing constraints that are likely to inhibit the adoption of the technology.
It was recommended among others that the government (MoFA and GIDA) and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) complement the efforts of Conservation Alliance (CA) and their partners to establish more units of the technology to enhance food security and improve rural livelihoods.