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Irrigated agriculture in Djibouti

An economic and physical analysis of irrigation systems

In Djibouti, the agricultural sector contributes just 3% of GDP, and only a few people work in farming. Due to the Djibouti climate (arid to semi-arid) and the scarcity of fresh water resources (~150 mm rainfall/year), only irrigated and seasonal agriculture is possible. Djibouti farmers use diesel engine water pumps, which have significant costs to purchase (~$2,000) and operate (~$1,700/hectare). These high costs result in elevated prices for locally produced agriculture products compared to imported fruits and vegetables. Djibouti therefore imports most of its fresh vegetables and fruits from neighbouring countries, including Ethiopia, Yemen, Kenya, and Europe/France. The project team explored solutions and innovations which could alleviate constraints and allow local farmers sufficient financial incentive to stay on their land, while providing increased food security and economic opportunities. In developing this analysis we used as a model a real Djibouti farm, that belonging to Aden Atteyeh Sougal, which provides extensive, if complex, data to build our project analyses on. While the team evaluated technologies and system requirements based on the Aden family farm, it is our hope that this research forms the basis for on-going exploration of economically viable irrigation systems for Djibouti smallholders in general.

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Author: Aden Atteyeh Sougal
Other authors: Bryan Pon, Matthew Bates, Anna Petersons
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Year: 2009
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Country/ies: Djibouti
Geographical coverage: Africa
Type: Technical paper
Content language: English
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