C. de Fraiture
- The conundrum of low-cost drip irrigation in Burkina Faso: Why development interventions that have little to show continue
- Book title
- Drip Irrigation for Agriculture
- Book subtitle
- Untold Stories of Efficiency, Innovation and Development
- Pages (from-to)
- London: Routledge
- ISBN (electronic)
- Earthscan Studies in Water Resource Management
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
Research and development efforts concerning drip irrigation have traditionally been oriented toward intensive commercial farming in developed economies, focusing on ways to improve efficiencies and productivities. From the mid-1990s onward, an increasing number of research institutes and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have engaged in efforts to make drip irrigation also accessible to smallholder farmers in developing countries. This entailed attempts to design much smaller drip systems, which would be cheaper and easier to operate than the high-tech systems used by farmers in developed economies. These systems would quickly become known under the generic term of ‘drip kits’; they operate under low pressure to provide localized irrigation to small plots, with sizes extending from a few square meters to a few hundred square meters. Apart from the water reservoir (tank), ‘kits’ come in pre-packaged plastic bags (smaller kits) or carton boxes (larger kits) (see Chapter 11, this volume and Box 13.1). In the early 2000s, the idea of making a modern technology suitable for use by poor smallholder farmers acquired wide resonance among a diverse group of actors working in the fields of agriculture, water governance, irrigation, and more generally the environment and development (Cornish, 1998; Kay, 2001; Polak et al., 1997; Postel et al., 2001). Smallholder drip irrigation has now become one among a number of popular ‘development technologies’, promoted by many organisations that aim to improve smallholder farming in the South. Yet, the use of drip kits outside of development projects arena remains at best sketchy (Chapter 14, this volume).
- Final publisher version
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