Small-scale irrigation in sub-Saharan Africa: Sparse lessons, big problems, any solutions?

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Abstract

This paper identifies from studies made of specific schemes the major social and administrative problems confronting the improvement and extension of small-scale irrigation in Africa. The first section reviews the studies and notes the conclusions to be drawn from each separate one. Underlying these separate conclusions six general problems are identified and in the second section of the article each of these six is elaborated and discussed: the relation between the direct producer'S benefit and wider social benefits: problems of control, commitment to hierarchy, the working of production units, and how to learn from farmers in respect of water use; and finally the general problem of how to plan for the further change that follows after irrigation is introduced.

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