Drip irrigation is a technology with much appeal to engineers, farmers, but also to a general public. It is strongly associated with a promise of ‘modernity’ and ‘efficiency’. The last decade of intensive large-scale export-oriented agriculture in Latin America has seen a steady growth. In many parts, water availability is seen as one of the main constraints for further growth and prosperity. Especially the export sector enterprises are investing in irrigation technology. The export market demands constant volumes of high-quality products. Therefore, production that used to be mainly rain-fed (like export bananas in Ecuador) is now brought under irrigation. In addition, national government policies have promoted the expansion of pressurized irrigation. Legislation favouring drip and sprinkler irrigators and subsidies for constructing pressurized irrigation systems have greatly facilitated the expansion of the drip and sprinkler irrigated areas. Because of the increase in irrigated areas under drip irrigation the total volume of water extracted from surface and groundwater bodies has been increasing, despite the ‘efficient’ irrigation technologies being used.
|Title of host publication||Drip Irrigation for Agriculture|
|Subtitle of host publication||Untold Stories of Efficiency, innovation and Development|
|Editors||Jean-Philippe Venot, Marcel Kuper, Margreet Zwarteveen|
|Place of Publication||Oxon|
|Publication status||Published - 2017|