Project properties

Title African Farmer led Irrigation Development
Group Water Resources Management group
Project type thesis
Credits 36
Supervisor(s) Gert Jan Veldwisch
Contact info
Begin date 2020/01/01
End date 2022/01/01
Description Country: various countries in Africa
Host institute: various institutes
Period: open

Problem context
Farmer-led Irrigation Development, in which farmers drive the establishment, improvement, and/or expansion of irrigated agriculture, is not a new phenomenon or an emerging process. However, national irrigation plans and policies long disqualified it as being traditional, islands of intensification too limited in scope to provide continent wide lessons, or small scale and inefficient. This tendency currently tends to shift in international development discourse. Recent research clearly show that the process of farmer-led irrigation development cuts across existing irrigation typologies defined on the basis of scale, technologies, crops, modes of management, and so on. The value of thinking about this form of irrigation development in terms of processes is that it illuminates the role of
farmers what makes it farmer led and locates it in political relationships. It enables a critical assessment of the primacy of approaches and perspectives that privilege formal state planning and expert engineering based knowledge as drivers of agricultural water use practices in Africa.

Research Objective/Question
Throughout the continent various governments and projects are aiming to engage with processes of Farmer-led Irrigation Development. These are varied in their strategies and activities. It is of great interest to study, document and compare these approaches and their effects. This includes practical/technical effects like increase in irrigated area, productivity, cost effectiveness, sustainability. But also distributional effects, for instance distribution within households, between farmers in a community, as well as at basin level.

What is expected from the student (type of research)
Field research in association with a project or programme that aims to engage with FLID processes
Used skills