SMALLHOLDER IRRIGATION TECHNOLOGY:
PROSPECTS FOR SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA



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ISSN 1607-6613

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FAO 2001

International Programme for Technology and Research in Irrigation and Drainage
Knowledge Synthesis Report No. 3 - March 2001
Melvyn Kay FAO/IPTRID Consultant
IPTRID Secretariat Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Rome, 2001


Table of Contents

Acknowledgements

Summary

The case for smallholder irrigation

Available technologies

Technology uptake

How fast can irrigation develop?

A dearth of experience

Introduction

The case for smallholder irrigation

Too many reviews?

Technology - at the heart of irrigation

The nature of smallholder irrigation

Traditional technologies

Communal scheme experiences

Role of traditional technologies in sub-Saharan Africa

Modern technologies

Sprinkle irrigation

Trickle irrigation

Improving traditional methods

A role for modern technologies in sub-Saharan Africa?

Low-cost technologies

A new philosophy

Irrigation kits

Treadle pumps

Prerequisites for uptake

A role for low-cost technologies in sub-Saharan Africa?

Matching technologies to agricultural regions

Desert and semi-desert

Dry savannah agriculture

Humid savannah agriculture

Humid tropical forest agriculture

High tropical and subtropical plateau agriculture

How fast can smallholder irrigation develop?

Review of experience from sub-Saharan Africa

Existing situation

Future potential

The right direction: prospects for sub-Saharan Africa

Developing human resources

References