Global Advanced Research Journal of Agricultural Science (GARJAS) ISSN: 2315-5094
July 2016 Vol. 5(7): pp. 283-292
Copyright © 2016 Global Advanced Research Journals

 

Full Length Research Paper

Improving agricultural productivity by promoting low-cost irrigation technologies in Sub-Saharan Africa

Asad Sarwar Qureshi and Shoaib Ismail

 

Senior Scientist-Irrigation and Water Management and Director Research and Innovation, International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA), Dubai, UAE.

Email: a.qureshi@biosaline.org.ae

Accepted 17 July, 2016

 

Abstract

The performance of small scale irrigation technologies such as Californian (PVC pipe layout) and drip irrigation systems with the traditional bucket method is compared in six Sub-Saharan African countries. The results of field trials conducted on farmer fields reveal that water and economic productivities of Californian and drip systems were two to three times higher than the bucket method. However, smallholder farmers preferred Californian irrigation system over drip system due to its low installation and operation and maintenance costs. The average installation cost of drip system was US$ 2000-4000 per ha compared to US$ 600-1000 per ha for the Californian system. However, despite these advantages, adoption of these irrigation technologies remain a challenge for resource poor farmers. This study suggests policy level changes to facilitate farmers financially and technically for the adoption of these technologies to increase their agricultural productivity and farm incomes. To cut down the costs, local manufacturing of equipment through active participation of private sector and introduction of solar driven and wind driven pumps at affordable prices could be a step in the right direction. Farmers’ training on improving water use efficiency and maintenance of these systems is also found to be crucial to increase agricultural production, increase incomes and reduce rural poverty. 

Keywords: small-scale irrigation, water use efficiency, rural poverty, food security, Sub-Saharan Africa.

   


 

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