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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Irrigation as a Privileged Solution in African Development
Author:Moris, JonISNI
Year:1987
Periodical:Development Policy Review
Volume:5
Issue:2
Period:June
Pages:99-123
Language:English
Geographic terms:Subsaharan Africa
Africa
Subjects:agricultural projects
agricultural policy
irrigation
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
Development and Technology
Link:https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-7679.1987.tb00369.x
Abstract:Some years ago Albert Hirschman coined the term 'privileged problem' for problematic situations which may have been present for a long time, but which become seen to require an organized solution by means of public intervention. Recognition of a privileged problem can also stimulate adoption of 'privileged solutions', material and organizational technologies which seem self-evidently suited for dealing with problem needs. A privileged solution is not thought to require testing and modification. In Africa, irrigation projects have often enjoyed a privileged status among some policymakers. They seem the obvious solution for modernizing production, minimizing food imports, removing food deficits, and ameliorating the impact of drought. This article suggests that this explains why African governments continue to invest in modern irrigation despite its high costs and poor performance within sub-Saharan Africa. This is illustrated with examples from Sudan, Kenya, Mali, Senegal, and Nigeria. Bibliogr., ref.
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