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Communication incl. Poster: BibTeX citation key:  Barbier
Barbier, B., Kouakou, P., Zorom, M., Yacouba, H., Karambiri, H. & Da Dapola, E. 2009. Irrigation and climate variability in the Sahel? Comparison between rainfed and irrigated farms. Work presented at Third International AMMA Conference, July 20—24, at Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.
Added by: roussot 2009-10-08 09:29:15    Last Edited by: roussot 2009-10-16 16:28:21
Categories: General
Keywords: Agriculture, Climate
Creators: Barbier, Da Dapola, Karambiri, Kouakou, Yacouba, Zorom
Publisher: African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analyses (Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso)
Collection: Third International AMMA Conference

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Irrigation is seen by many as the best solution to cope with Sahelian climate variability. However international institutions have been reluctant to finance new irrigation schemes during the 1990s because Sahelian countries’ debt was unsustainable and because irrigation performances were low. Less than 2 % of the Sahelian cropped area is irrigated today. Now that the debts have been alleviated in most Sahelian countries, irrigation is back on donors’ agenda. Also recent food crisis and the persistent food insecurity of the Sahelian population have triggered new calls to invest in drought mitigation strategies.
The aim of this study is to compare the strategies from farmers who benefit from irrigation plots to the ones completely depending upon rainfalls. Our hypothesis is that there is a significant trickle down effect from the benefits of irrigation to the rainfed production system within the farm that benefit from irrigation, especially because farmers with irrigation plots cope with risk differently. To test this hypothesis we interviewed a sample of more than 1300 farmers in 5 Sahelian countries about their perception of climate variability and their respective adaptation strategies. We then analyzed the differences.
The results suggest that irrigation is a key factor to distinguish farmers with irrigation plots from the others. However for most farmers irrigation has a limited impact on farmers’ overall performances. The reason is that the irrigated plots are usually very tiny compared to the total farm area and performances of the irrigated plot are often disappointing. In case of droughts, irrigation is not always a proper risk reducing strategy. The analysis of the performances of the different groups of farmers shows the advantages and limitations of irrigation as a risk coping instrument.
Last Edited by: roussot