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Water resources development in Africa: a review and synthesis of issues, potentials, and strategies for the future

Listed author(s):
  • Rosegrant, Mark W.
  • Perez, Nicostrato D.

This paper analyzes how water resources development and water policy reform can be deployed to address the twin problems of food insecurity and water scarcity in Africa and, in particular, Sub-Saharan Africa. The paper reviews the current status of water supply and demand, and the existing and potential irrigated land base in Africa; reviews the performance of existing irrigation systems and assesses the magnitude of the potential contribution and cost-effectiveness of new irrigation development to future food production in Africa; and explores the potential for water conservation through demand management. Meeting the challenges of food security and water scarcity in Africa will require both selective development and exploitation of new water supplies and comprehensive policy reform that encourages efficient use of existing supplies. The most significant reforms will involve changing the institutional and legal environment in which water is supplied to one that empowers water users to make their own decisions regarding the resource. Irrigation development will not be the main source of food production growth in Africa, but increased investment in irrigation could have an important role in reducing projected cereal import demands. Rehabilitation and improvement of existing irrigation systems can be an attractive option, but projects must be selected carefully.

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Paper provided by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in its series EPTD discussion papers with number 28.

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Date of creation: 1997
Handle: RePEc:fpr:eptddp:28
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  1. Warr, Peter G., 1990. "Predictive performance of the World Bank's commodity price projections," Agricultural Economics of Agricultural Economists, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 4(3-4), December.
  2. Delgado, Christopher L., 1995. "Agricultural diversification and export promotion in sub-Saharan Africa," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 225-243, June.
  3. Reardon, Thomas & Crawford, Eric W. & Bernsten, Richard H. & Eicher, Carl K. & Jayne, Thomas S. & Oehmke, James F. & Savadogo, Kimseyinga, 1993. "Challenges for Creating and Sustaining A Green Revolution in Africa," Staff Papers 11735, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
  4. Barghouti,S. & Le Moigne, G., 1990. "Irrigation In Sub-Saharan Africa; The Development Of Public And Private Systems," Papers 123, World Bank - Technical Papers.
  5. Aluwihare, Parakrama B. & Kikuchi, Masao, 1991. "Irrigation investment trends in Sri Lanka: new construction and beyond," IWMI Books, International Water Management Institute, number 113725.
  6. Randall, Alan, 1981. "Property Entitlements And Pricing Policies For A Maturing Water Economy," Australian Journal of Agricultural Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 25(03), December.
  7. Rosegrant, Mark W. & Binswanger, Hans P., 1994. "Markets in tradable water rights: Potential for efficiency gains in developing country water resource allocation," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 22(11), pages 1613-1625, November.
  8. Rosegrant, Mark W. & Schleyer, Renato Gazmuri & Yadav, Satya N., 1995. "Water policy for efficient agricultural diversification: market-based approaches," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 203-223, June.
  9. Adams, W. M., 1990. "How beautiful is small? Scale, control and success in Kenyan irrigation," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 18(10), pages 1309-1323, October.
  10. Brown, E.P. & Nooter, R., 1992. "Successful Small-Scale Irrigation in the Sahel," Papers 171, World Bank - Technical Papers.
  11. Frederick, K.D., 1993. "Balancing Water Demands with Supplies; The Role of Management in a world of Increasing Scarcity," Papers 189, World Bank - Technical Papers.
  12. Ahmed, Raisuddin & Hossain, Mahabub, 1990. "Developmental impact of rural infrastructure in Bangladesh:," Research reports 83, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
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