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Growing more food with less water: how can revitalizing Asia\u2019s irrigation help?

Author

Listed:
  • Mukherji, Aditi
  • Facon, T.
  • Molden, David
  • Chartres, Colin

Abstract

Irrigation has always played a central role in the agrarian economy of Asia, from supporting famed hydraulic civilizations in the ancient past to spearheading Green Revolution in the 1960s and 1970s,. Asia accounts for 70% of the world\u2019s irrigated area and is home to some of the oldest and largest irrigation schemes. While these irrigation schemes played an important role in ensuring food security for billions of people in the past, their current state of affairs leaves much to be desired. The purpose of this paper is analyze the current trends in irrigation in Asia and suggest ways and means for revitalizing irrigation for meeting our future food needs and fuelling agricultural growth. The paper recommends a five pronged approach for revitalizing Asia\u2019s irrigation and provides region specific strategies for the same. The underlying principal of these multiple strategies is the belief that the public institutions at the heart of irrigation management in Asia need to give up comfortable rigidity and engage with individual users\u2019 needs and the demands placed by larger societal changes.

Suggested Citation

  • Mukherji, Aditi & Facon, T. & Molden, David & Chartres, Colin, 2010. "Growing more food with less water: how can revitalizing Asia\u2019s irrigation help?," Conference Papers h043241, International Water Management Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:iwt:conppr:h043241
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Mukherji, Aditi & Fuleki, Blanka & Shah, Tushaar & Suhardiman, Diana & Giordano, Mark & Weligamage, Parakrama, 2010. "Irrigation reform in Asia: a review of 108 cases of irrigation management transfer," IWMI Research Reports H042851, International Water Management Institute.
    2. Castillo, G. E. & Namara, Regassa & Ravnborg, H. M. & Hanjra, M. A. & Smith, L. & Hussein, M. H. & Bene, Christopher & Cook, S. & Hirsch, D. & Polak, P. & Valee, Domitille & van Koppen, Barbara, 2007. "Reversing the flow: agricultural water management pathways for poverty reduction," Book Chapters,, International Water Management Institute.
    3. Wichelns, Dennis, 2004. "The policy relevance of virtual water can be enhanced by considering comparative advantages," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 49-63, April.
    4. de Fraiture, Charlotte & Wichelns, D. & Rockstrom, J. & Kemp-Benedict, E. & Eriyagama, Nishadi & Gordon, L. J. & Hanjra, M. A. & Hoogeveen, J. & Huber-Lee, A. & Karlberg, L., 2007. "Looking ahead to 2050: scenarios of alternative investment approaches," Book Chapters,, International Water Management Institute.
    5. Castillo, G. E. & Namara, Regassa & Ravnborg, H. M. & Hanjra, M. A. & Smith, L. & Hussein, M. H. & Bene, C. & Cook, S. & Hirsch, D. & Polak, P. & Valee, Domitille & van Koppen, Barbara, 2007. "Reversing the flow: agricultural water management pathways for poverty reduction," IWMI Books, Reports H040197, International Water Management Institute.
    6. Johnston, Robyn M. & Hoanh, Chu Thai & Lacombe, Guillaume & Noble, Andrew D. & Smakhtin, Vladimir U. & Suhardiman, Diana & Kam, Suan Pheng & Choo, Poh Sze, 2010. "Rethinking agriculture in the Greater Mekong Subregion: how to sustainably meet food needs, enhance ecosystem services and cope with climate change," IWMI Research Reports 91465, International Water Management Institute.
    7. Roost, N. & Cai, X.L. & Turral, H. & Molden, D. & Cui, Y.L., 2008. "Adapting to intersectoral transfers in the Zhanghe Irrigation System, China: Part II: Impacts of in-system storage on water balance and productivity," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 95(6), pages 685-697, June.
    8. Johnston, Robyn M. & Hoanh, Chu Thai & Lacombe, Guillaume & Noble, Andrew & Smakhtin, Vladimir & Suhardiman, Diana & Kam, Suan Pheng & Choo, Poh Sze, 2010. "Rethinking agriculture in the Greater Mekong Subregion: how to sustainably meet food needs, enhance ecosystem services and cope with climate change," IWMI Research Reports H042771, International Water Management Institute.
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    Keywords

    Irrigation systems;

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