Water Management to meet present and future food demand

K.C. Birendra, B. Schultz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


The emerging and least developed countries are expected to absorb virtually all the increase in the world's population. With fast-growing population and ongoing urbanization, population density with reference to cultivated land is increasing significantly. In the emerging countries the increasing standard of living and to a certain extent biofuel production are adding more pressure on the already stressed land and water resources. Currently, most hungry people live in these countries and their number has been increasing for a few years. The least developed countries especially are regular food aid recipients. The future outlook is not promising: 80–90% of the required increase in food production will need to come from existing cultivated land. However, at present only 22% of the cultivated land in emerging and 11% in the least developed countries have irrigation facilities. Drainage development is almost non-existent. Better use of already cultivated land and water resources to ensure the required food production can be the key. The role of effective water management thus is crucial to achieve the objective of food security. This paper substantiates that the improvements in agricultural water management are closely linked to global food production
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)348-359
JournalIrrigation and Drainage
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • irrigation


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