- Farmer-led irrigation in sub-Saharan Africa: synthesis of current understandings11.14 MB
Interest in irrigation in sub-Saharan Africa has revived since 2000. Compared to Asia, where more than one-third of cultivated land is irrigated, official records for sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) show corresponding statistics of just 4% to 6% of cultivated land irrigated. To meet Africa’s food needs in 2050 without increased imports will almost certainly require a considerable expansion of irrigation.
This report focuses on irrigation initiated by smallholders, ‘farmer-led irrigation’ (FLI), and addresses the following questions:
- What is known about the extent of FLI in sub-Saharan Africa in the 2010s? What has been developed, and how?
- How successful has FLI been? What problems arise? How do such developments compare to irrigation that has been initiated by public authorities?
- How has public policy either assisted or hindered FLI? What are the lessons for policy-makers?
This synthesis brings together findings from research conducted under the DFID-ESRC Growth Research Programme (DEGRP) with the wider literature on irrigation in SSA.
Report by the Growth Research Programme