What is the irrigation potential for Africa? A combined biophysical and socioeconomic approach
Although irrigation in Africa has the potential to boost agricultural productivities by at least 50%, food production on the continent is almost entirely rainfed. The area equipped for irrigation, currently slightly more than 13 million hectares, makes up just 6% of the total cultivated area. More than 70% of Africa’s poor live in rural areas and mostly depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. As a result, agricultural development is key to ending poverty on the continent. Many development organizations have recently proposed to significantly increase investments in irrigation in the region. However, the potential for irrigation investments in Africa is highly dependent upon geographic, hydrologic, agronomic, and economic factors that need to be taken into account when assessing the long-term viability and sustainability of planned projects. This paper analyzes the large, dam-based and small-scale irrigation investment potential in Africa based on agronomic, hydrologic, and economic factors. We find significant profitable irrigation potential for both small-scale and large-scale systems. This type of regional analysis can guide distribution of investment funds across countries and should be a first step prior to in-depth country- and local-level assessment of irrigation potential, which will be important to agricultural and economic development in Africa.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Svendsen, Mark & Ewing, Mandy & Msangi, Siwa, 2009. "Measuring irrigation performance in Africa:," IFPRI discussion papers 894, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
- Inocencio, Arlene & Kikuchi, Masao & Tonosaki, Manabu & Maruyama, Atsushi & Merrey, Douglas & Sally, Hilmy & de Jong, Ijsbrand, 2007. "Costs and performance of irrigation projects: A comparison of Sub-Saharan Africa and other developing regions," IWMI Research Reports H036214, International Water Management Institute.
- You, Liangzhi & Wood, Stanley & Wood-Sichra, Ulrike, 2007. "Generating plausible crop distribution and performance maps for Sub-Saharan Africa using a spatially disaggregated data fusion and optimization approach:," IFPRI discussion papers 725, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
- You, Liangzhi & Wood, Stanley, 2006. "An entropy approach to spatial disaggregation of agricultural production," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 90(1-3), pages 329-347, October.
- Svendsen, M., 2009. "Measuring irrigation performance in Africa," IWMI Working Papers H043570, International Water Management Institute.
- Anton Eberhard & Vivien Foster & Cecilia Briceño-Garmendia & Fatimata Ouedraogo & Daniel Camos & Maria Shkaratan, 2008. "Underpowered : The State of the Power Sector in Sub-Saharan Africa," World Bank Other Operational Studies 7833, The World Bank.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jfpoli:v:36:y:2011:i:6:p:770-782. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.