Supporting farmer-led irrigation in Mozambique: Reflections on field-testing a new design approach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

Smallholder irrigation technologies introduced in sub-Saharan Africa are often unsustainable in the sense that they are not maintained by their users. In contrast, there is clear evidence that smallholder farmers have been developing and expanding irrigated areas. An approach was developed that takes these farmers' initiatives as a starting point to stimulate further irrigated agricultural expansion in central Mozambique, dubbed the PIAD approach (Participatory Irrigated Agricultural Development). The approach was documented through field diaries, participatory monitoring and evaluation. This article presents an analysis and reflection on the design process. Amongst other things, it shows that a crucial difference is the division of roles between users, contractors and irrigation engineers, both in terms of division of responsibilities and in understanding the interdisciplinary connections of irrigated agricultural production. The approach allowed users to be kept in the driver's seat of development while going beyond improving irrigation infrastructure, including agronomic and institutional interventions. Additionally, the results show that technologies are being sustained by their users and copied by farmers in neighboring areas. We conclude that the approach allows for active investment by the users, both in design as well as in project costs and labor, which later results in the improvements being maintained and copied, a clear marker of sustainability.

LanguageEnglish
Article number580
JournalSustainability
Volume8
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Fingerprint

Mozambique
irrigation
Irrigation
farmer
Lead
Testing
smallholder
Seats
Contractors
participatory approach
Sustainable development
agricultural development
Personnel
agricultural production
Engineers
Monitoring
labor
infrastructure
sustainability
engineer

Keywords

  • Central Mozambique
  • Design approach
  • Development
  • Farmer-led irrigation
  • Sustainability

Cite this

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title = "Supporting farmer-led irrigation in Mozambique: Reflections on field-testing a new design approach",
abstract = "Smallholder irrigation technologies introduced in sub-Saharan Africa are often unsustainable in the sense that they are not maintained by their users. In contrast, there is clear evidence that smallholder farmers have been developing and expanding irrigated areas. An approach was developed that takes these farmers' initiatives as a starting point to stimulate further irrigated agricultural expansion in central Mozambique, dubbed the PIAD approach (Participatory Irrigated Agricultural Development). The approach was documented through field diaries, participatory monitoring and evaluation. This article presents an analysis and reflection on the design process. Amongst other things, it shows that a crucial difference is the division of roles between users, contractors and irrigation engineers, both in terms of division of responsibilities and in understanding the interdisciplinary connections of irrigated agricultural production. The approach allowed users to be kept in the driver's seat of development while going beyond improving irrigation infrastructure, including agronomic and institutional interventions. Additionally, the results show that technologies are being sustained by their users and copied by farmers in neighboring areas. We conclude that the approach allows for active investment by the users, both in design as well as in project costs and labor, which later results in the improvements being maintained and copied, a clear marker of sustainability.",
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Supporting farmer-led irrigation in Mozambique : Reflections on field-testing a new design approach. / Beekman, Wouter; Veldwisch, Gert Jan.

In: Sustainability, Vol. 8, No. 6, 580, 2016.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Supporting farmer-led irrigation in Mozambique

T2 - Sustainability

AU - Beekman, Wouter

AU - Veldwisch, Gert Jan

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AB - Smallholder irrigation technologies introduced in sub-Saharan Africa are often unsustainable in the sense that they are not maintained by their users. In contrast, there is clear evidence that smallholder farmers have been developing and expanding irrigated areas. An approach was developed that takes these farmers' initiatives as a starting point to stimulate further irrigated agricultural expansion in central Mozambique, dubbed the PIAD approach (Participatory Irrigated Agricultural Development). The approach was documented through field diaries, participatory monitoring and evaluation. This article presents an analysis and reflection on the design process. Amongst other things, it shows that a crucial difference is the division of roles between users, contractors and irrigation engineers, both in terms of division of responsibilities and in understanding the interdisciplinary connections of irrigated agricultural production. The approach allowed users to be kept in the driver's seat of development while going beyond improving irrigation infrastructure, including agronomic and institutional interventions. Additionally, the results show that technologies are being sustained by their users and copied by farmers in neighboring areas. We conclude that the approach allows for active investment by the users, both in design as well as in project costs and labor, which later results in the improvements being maintained and copied, a clear marker of sustainability.

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