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Title:Irrigation technology and commercialization of rice in The Gambia: effects on income and nutrition
Authors:Von Braun, JoachimISNI
Puetz, DetlevISNI
Webb, PatrickISNI
Series:Research report
City of publisher:Washington, DC
Publisher:International Food Policy Research Institute
Geographic term:Gambia
Subjects:household income
Abstract:Technological change in African agriculture is usually necessary, but not always sufficient, to achieve sustained increases in production. How can technical progress in a crop, and the resulting local growth in marketed surpluses of that crop, be designed and complemented so as to improve the chances of African countries to raise the aggregate output of crops and reduce poverty. This study examines such questions in the setting of a major technical improvement in rice production in a West African country. The study asks: To what extent does technical change raise production? Does such change encourage the diversion of labour from other activities into modern rice or into leisure as income rises? If extra production does materialize, does it increase income and consumption? If so, do the poor benefit from this? Does any such extra consumption affect adult and child nutrition? The links between production, income, consumption, and nutrition are explicitly established in the analysis. The study focuses on a new rice irrigation project set up in 1983-1984 and involving about 7,500 farmers in The Gambia. The study site was selected because households could be traced during and after the introduction of new rice production technology (mechanical pump irrigation and improved drainage for rainfed and tidal irrigation).