E.31 Farmers' attitudes to irrigation
E.32 Other socio-economic factors
Socio-economic Requirements and Limitations
Future Socio-Economic Conditions
Farmers' attitudes to irrigation differ enormously between projects and can differ substantially even within a project area, making this 'class-determining'. The introduction of irrigation into areas that have a traditional pattern of agriculture necessitates social changes that are sometimes unacceptable to the local community. For example, in some West African countries women are generally responsible for cultivating rainfed rice in swamps. The introduction of controlled water irrigation necessitates that men be involved in the new technology with pumps and mechanization. This is successful in some villages but not in others-In some other countries, irrigation projects have been unsuccessful where farmers were able to obtain employment in industrial activities, or as migrant employees in neighbouring or overseas oil-rich countries.
Competing employment opportunities that act as a disincentive to intensive irrigated agriculture may be 'class-determining' where this varies from place to place.
Farm prices greatly influence farmers' attitudes. For example, the price of rice influences the productivity of land in many Asian countries. When rice prices are favourable, the farmers produce more than when the purchasing price is low; in the latter case, farmers may find it more profitable to grow upland crops on adjacent rainfed land, where there is such an opportunity.
Many other socio-economic considerations have already been discussed in Sections 5.9 and Chapter 7. These apply mostly to the selection of LUTs, but some may be selected as 'class-determining'. For example, land tenure and water rights differ from location to location and may be crucial in deciding whether the land is suitable for development. Labour supply profiles must match seasonal labour requirements of the proposed LUT; again, this could vary from place to place and be 'class-determining'. The adverse side-effects of development due to factors such as the displacement of existing agriculture and culture, whether shifting cultivation or existing settlements on land to be flooded or redistributed, must be evaluated in terms of net benefits to the community as a whole.