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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Development of Small-Scale Irrigation in Sub-Saharan Africa
Author:Carter, Richard C.
Periodical:Public Administration and Development
Geographic term:Subsaharan Africa
Subjects:small farms
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
Development and Technology
External link:https://doi.org/10.1002/pad.4230090507
Abstract:The performance of irrigation schemes in sub-Saharan Africa has generally been discouraging. This has been particularly true of large-scale formal smallholder developments. Recently attention has been turning increasingly to small-scale farmer-managed irrigation, generally utilizing simple, low-cost methods of water control. While not yet very prominent in government planning and policy statements, small-scale irrigation has been espoused enthusiastically by farmers, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and some international agencies. Technical interventions commonly made include improvements to groundwater source works or river offtakes, reduction of water losses from open channels, introduction of new pumping systems, and design and construction of water storage, conveyance and application systems. Examples are swamp rice development in various countries in West Africa and groundwater development in northern Nigeria. Although generally limited in physical size and sophistication of technology, small-scale irrigation nevertheless experiences the complexities inherent in the management of land and water, and of social, political and economic change. Research and development needs are wide-ranging, and attention to them is likely to be fruitful in terms of increasingly effective rural development strategies. Bibliogr., note.