Professor Felix Kofi Abagale, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University for Development Studies (UDS), has proposed that five per cent revenue from the Electronic Transactions Levy (E-Levy) be used as a sinking fund to support the creation of a Ghana Irrigation Development Fund (GIDFund).
He said the GIDFund, when created, would support the Ghana Irrigation Development Authority and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to provide state-of-the-art irrigation infrastructure and technologies across the country for all-year-round crop production.
He said, “This will be critical in not only making Ghana a net food exporter but also in tackling the widening inequality gaps in the country as well as creating employment opportunities for young people, who have shown interest in pursuing Agri-preneurship.”
Professor Abagale made the proposal when he delivered his inaugural lecture at the UDS in Tamale.?
He spoke on the topic: “Damming the Reservoirs for Sustainable Livelihoods: Challenges and Emerging Opportunities in the Global South.”
The inaugural lecture, the 10th in the series to be organised by the UDS, was attended by people from academia, research institutions, policymakers, public and corporate bodies as well as family and friends of Professor Abagale.
The government announced the E-Levy in the 2022 budget and is currently pushing to have the Bill passed into law to help generate more funds to support the country’s development agenda.
Professor Abagale said although the government had invested a lot in constructing and or rehabilitating irrigation infrastructure, “They are deteriorating because of human attitude, which needs to be looked at.”
He added that “Because of human activity, there is a high level of degradation of the river basins, deterioration of the environment by cutting down trees, burning bush and adoption of farming practices, which are not suitable for the ecosystem.”
He said, “What we also realise is that the siltation of reservoirs is very high, and we need to protect the environment to be able to reduce the rate at which siltation takes place.”
Professor Abagale warned that if the environment were not protected, the Pwalugu Multipurpose Dam would not yield the expected benefits.
?Professor Gabriel Ayum Teye, Vice-Chancellor of UDS, lauded the lecture, saying it touched on a critical issue for agricultural production and human survival.
He commended Professor Abagale for his patience and dedication to duty, which had defined his academic journey, urging young people, especially those at the UDS, to emulate him.